President Amherd to meet with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen on Monday

Bern, 14.03.2024 - President Viola Amherd will meet with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on Monday, 18 March. Talks will focus on the official opening of negotiations between Switzerland and the European Union (EU). The European security situation will also be addressed.

The Swiss president and the president of the European Commission will officially open negotiations in the presence of the chief negotiators from both sides. Ms Amherd will also meet with Maroš Šefčovič, vice president of the European Commission. A reciprocal visit to Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), will be organised in Bern in early summer to take stock of progress in the negotiations and discuss their continuation.

Exploratory talks were held between spring 2022 and autumn 2023. The Federal Council was satisfied with the outcome of these discussions and duly adopted the negotiating mandate on Friday, 8 March. The EU followed suit by adopting its mandate on Tuesday, 12 March.

Switzerland and the EU are striving to stabilise and develop their bilateral relations. In addition to bilateral relations, common geopolitical and security challenges will also be discussed on Monday. Participants will also discuss the situation in Europe in relation to Russia's war against Ukraine, the situation in the Middle East and the commitment of Switzerland and the EU to peace and security.

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