Federal Council to welcome France’s President Emmanuel Macron on state visit
Bern, 09.11.2023 - The Federal Council has invited President Emmanuel Macron of France and his wife, Brigitte Macron, on a state visit to Switzerland with a view to enhancing/ the long-standing diplomatic relations with France and advancing important bilateral topics. The state guest will be received on Wednesday, 15 November by the entire Federal Council with military honours on the Bundesplatz. This will be followed by official speeches in the lobby of the Federal Palace and political discussions in the Bernerhof. The second day of the visit will be devoted to cooperation in the areas of research, innovation and education, and pan-European challenges.
The talks will focus on bilateral and cross-border relations between France and Switzerland in areas such as the economy, research, energy, the environment, health and mobility. Also on the agenda will be issues concerning European security and prosperity, and Switzerland’s objectives for stabilising and developing the bilateral approach with the European Union (EU). The official talks will also include current international topics, cooperation in the UN Security Council, International Geneva and science diplomacy.
On the second day, President Alain Berset and President Macron will visit the Jean Monnet Foundation in Lausanne, where the archives of the pioneer of European unification are kept. Afterwards, an event for students is planned at the University of Lausanne, with a presentation by the French president on the challenges facing the continent. The programme will also include a visit to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva.
Long tradition of very strong relations
France is modern Switzerland’s oldest diplomatic partner. Switzerland opened its first diplomatic representation abroad, in Paris, as early as 1798 – 225 years ago – long before the founding of the federal state. France established a permanent representation in Switzerland even earlier – in 1522. The last state visit by a French president to Switzerland was that of François Hollande in 2015.
No other country has more Swiss nationals living abroad than France (around 210,000), and around 163,000 French nationals live in Switzerland. In terms of economic relations, France is Switzerland’s fifth largest trading partner, after Germany, the United States, Italy and China. The greatest trading volume is with the three border regions of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté and Grand-Est (45.8%), and with the Ile-de-France region (33.7%). More than 220,000 French cross-border commuters work in Switzerland.
France is a preferred country for Swiss investment abroad: with direct investments of CHF 63 billion, Switzerland ranks third among France’s foreign investors, after the United States and almost on a par with Germany. Traditionally there are also very close ties between the two countries in the areas of research, education and culture, which benefit from their common national language.
Address for enquiries
Tel. +41 58 462 85 79
Logistics and organisation:
Linda Shepard, FDFA Communications
Tel. +41 79 544 48 16
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