Both sides emphasised the excellent quality of the bilateral relations that had been cultivated during reciprocal high-level visits prior to the pandemic. Economic exchanges have increased strongly and steadily in recent years and there is also a wealth of cooperation in education, research and innovation between the two countries. On Thursday, the delegations discussed how to strengthen these relations.
Mr Parmelin emphasised that Switzerland’s participation in Horizon Europe, the framework programme for research and innovation, is a priority for the country. This would offer the most conducive means of successfully continuing bilateral research cooperation with Romania. Cyber security is of particular interest to Switzerland, and Romania is set to play a pivotal role following the EU’s decision to establish its cyber security competence centre in Bucharest.
Current developments in European policy were also addressed during the meeting. Switzerland remains a reliable and dedicated partner of the European Union (EU), even without an institutional agreement. The Federal Council is committed to a rapid release of the second Swiss contribution to selected EU Member States by Parliament, and aims for a swift finalisation of the Memorandum of Understanding with the EU.
Both sides also exchanged views on how European states can best respond to international challenges. The Swiss delegation called for closely coordinated assistance by states and international organisations with regard to the situation in Afghanistan. The need for a fair and crisis-resistant asylum system was also raised.
The delegation also discussed the situation in Eastern Europe including developments in Moldova and in the Ukraine, as well as relations with Russia. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) plays a key role as an instrument of conflict prevention and a platform for dialogue.
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