MIL OSI translation. Region: Germany/Germany –
Source: Switzerland – Federal Council in German
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Bern, June 23, 2022 – Federal President Ignazio Cassis met Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann in Stuttgart, the capital of Baden-Württemberg. The talks focused on Switzerland’s relationship with the European Union and its impact on the close ties between Switzerland and Baden-Württemberg. Another topic of conversation was the war in Ukraine.
At the meeting in Stuttgart, Federal President Ignazio Cassis informed Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann about the direction of the negotiation package and the status of the negotiations between Switzerland and the EU. Switzerland’s association with future EU programmes, particularly in the areas of research and innovation, is an important factor in maintaining the region’s economic dynamism. Cassis and Kretschmann also expressed their desire to strengthen the quality and impact of cross-border cooperation between Switzerland and Baden-Württemberg within the framework of the recently established regional dialogue platforms.
Important partnership in the heart of EuropeBaden-Württemberg is Switzerland’s third most important trading partner after the USA and China. The representatives of the federal state are committed to maintaining and deepening relations with Switzerland. Cassis and Kretschmann emphasized the importance of the bilateral agreements between Bern and Brussels with regard to stable regional partnerships, especially in the areas of research, education and innovation. The cross-border supply chains, which are among the most integrated in Europe, are also based to a large extent on the regulated relationship between Bern and Brussels. “We must do everything we can to ensure that relations between Switzerland and the EU are put back on a positive track. In my view, political will is needed on both sides in order to resolve the unresolved institutional issues between the EU and Switzerland. We have to talk to each other seriously and be willing to compromise,” said Prime Minister Kretschmann.
The Federal President informed the Prime Minister that the Federal Council intends to intensify the exploratory talks with the European Commission. “Switzerland’s association with future EU programmes, particularly in the areas of research and innovation, remains the Federal Council’s declared goal,” said President Cassis.
Consolidation of bilateral and cross-border relations The Federal President also underlined the importance of cross-border cooperation in all border regions of Switzerland and Baden-Württemberg. In the Lake Constance region, for example, four German-speaking countries (Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein) work together on important issues such as mobility, climate protection and innovation. A first pilot meeting of the Lake Constance Government Commission, led by the foreign ministries and involving all affected border regions, took place in St. Gallen in May 2022. “I had the feeling that all parties involved are interested in continuing this dialogue in the heart of an exemplary dynamic region,” said Federal President Cassis.
In addition, Switzerland is striving for better integration of cross-border issues at capital city level. A German-Swiss dialogue on cross-border cooperation, which brings together the foreign ministries and all local actors once a year, makes it possible to efficiently link regional issues on both sides of the border with the federal level. «The establishment of a cross-border dialogue with Germany is excellent news. This new discussion platform will enable an overview of all cross-border issues between Switzerland and Germany and thus allow impulses to be given at the political level,” emphasized Cassis. Switzerland has had similar dialogues with Italy and France for some time.
Situation in Ukraine In view of the extremely slim prospects of a swift ceasefire and the deadlocked diplomatic negotiations, President Cassis expressed great concern about the situation in Ukraine. Addressing the Ukraine Recovery Conference taking place in Lugano on July 4-5, 2022, he underlined the close ties between Ukraine and Switzerland. “With this conference, Switzerland is positioning itself in an area that is particularly important to it and is offering a discussion platform to all those involved who want to contribute to the reconstruction of Ukraine.”
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.