Foreign policy cooperation and bilateral relations: State Secretary Livia Leu holds foreign policy consultations with EU's European External Action Service

Bern, 13.09.2022 - State Secretary Livia Leu received the Secretary-General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), Stefano Sannino, for political consultations in Bern on 13 September. They focused on the European and global crisis caused by Russia's aggression against Ukraine, its impact on European security architecture, and cooperation between Switzerland and the EU.

The talks in Bern provided the opportunity for a general exchange on the current geopolitical situation.In this context, the consultations confirmed the importance of close coordination between like-minded partners. "Switzerland and the EU are part of the same community of values," said Leu. "The crises of our time remind us of the importance of cooperation and solidarity." Ms Leu and Mr Sannini talked about reinforcing cooperation on peace, security and strategic issues and agreed there must be close coordination with regard to Switzerland's upcoming term on the UN Security Council. Against the background of the current geopolitical challenges, it was agreed today to hold this dialogue regularly in the future, preferably twice a year.  

Situation in Ukraine

The focus of the talks between Ms Leu and Mr Sannino was the situation in Ukraine and its impact on Europe. Both interlocutors underscored the relevance of the sanctions against Russia and Belarus, which Switzerland and the EU support equally.

Ms Leu and Mr Sannino discussed the impact of the war on Europe's energy supply and security architecture. Switzerland participates in EU missions for crisis management and election observation within the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy, and is currently examining participation in an EU project for greater cyber security within the framework of the Permanent Structured Cooperation.

UN Security Council and CH–EU relations

Further regional and multilateral issues were also discussed, including Switzerland's priorities as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the period 2023–24. Another focus of the discussions was the bilateral relations between Switzerland and the EU. Switzerland proposes a broad package approach to further develop the tried and tested bilateral path, which should meet the interests of both sides. As well as single market access, the package approach encompasses further opportunities for cooperation, including a joint engagement to promote peace, security and democracy.

The EEAS is the diplomatic service of the EU. Secretary-General Stefano Sannino is the deputy of Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Switzerland is currently holding exploratory talks with the European Commission's Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight department on the bilateral package approach with the EU.

Address for enquiries

FDFA Communication
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel. Press service: +41 58 460 55 55
Twitter: @SwissMFA


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs