Federal Council adopts report in response to postulate on neutrality

Bern, 26.10.2022 - The Federal Council adopted the report in response to the postulate on neutrality at its meeting on 26 October 2022. The report concludes that current neutrality practice provides sufficient scope to use neutrality as an instrument of Swiss foreign and security policy in the present international context.

The Federal Council's report responds to Postulate 22.3385 put forward by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Council of States calling for 'Clarity and guidance on neutrality policy'. The report is based on the approach agreed by the Federal Council in its discussions on neutrality on 31 August and 7 September 2022, and should also be viewed in relation to the complementary report to the 2021 Security Policy Report.

The last time the Federal Council addressed the topic of neutrality in detail was in the context of the 1993 White Paper on Neutrality. The present report covering neutrality and its relationship to foreign policy shows how the practice of neutrality has evolved over the past 30 years, and reviews the Federal Council's decisions since the start of the war in Ukraine. The current practice allows the Federal Council sufficient leeway to make effective decisions on neutrality in individual cases while taking the global situation into account.

The Federal Council has therefore concluded that it will continue to adhere to the practice of neutrality established in the 1993 White Paper on Neutrality. The Federal Council wants to retain neutrality as an instrument of Swiss foreign and security policy. In doing so, it aims to safeguard security, independence and prosperity while working for a peaceful international order based on international law, human rights and democracy.

To ensure that Swiss neutrality is understood and recognised in the current international context, both in Europe and around the world, it is important for Swiss diplomacy to demonstrate the benefits of neutrality and its contribution to the international order.

The Federal Council will continue to analyse the impact of the war in Ukraine on international relations and will review the situation as part of its foreign policy strategy, taking Switzerland's neutrality into account.

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