Political talks, innovation and regional cooperation: Swiss President Didier Burkhalter visits Slovakia

Bern, Press release, 08.12.2014

On Tuesday 9 December 2014, President of the Swiss Confederation Didier Burkhalter will take part in the summit of the Visegrad Group, which comprises Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary alongside Slovakia. The Visegrad countries will be represented in Bratislava by their prime ministers. In addition, Mr Burkhalter is to meet with Slovakian President Andrej Kiska, Prime Minister Robert Fico and Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák for bilateral talks.

Didier Burkhalter at the press conference after the Visegrad summit, with Viktor Orban (l.), Robert Fico (r.), Bohuslav Sobotka (2nd right) and Ewa Kopacz.
Didier Burkhalter at the press conference after the summit, with Viktor Orban (l.), Robert Fico (r.), Bohuslav Sobotka (2nd right) and Ewa Kopacz. FDFA

Slovakia has invited Mr Burkhalter to attend this year's summit of the Visegrad Group on the afternoon of 9 December 2014, at which the four countries are represented by their prime ministers. Joining the Slovakian prime minister, Robert Fico, in Bratislava are prime ministers Ewa Kopacz (Poland), Bohuslav Sobotka (Czech Republic) and Viktor Orbán (Hungary). The Visegrad Group was founded by Central European countries Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia in 1991 to provide an informal platform to tackle issues facing Central and Eastern Europe and to boost regional cooperation. Slovakia currently holds the presidency in the Visegrad Group. Switzerland is a member of the International Visegrad Fund through which it funds various projects in Eastern Europe.

The Ukrainian conflict, energy security, research and innovation, economic cooperation and Switzerland's policy regarding the EU are central topics at this year's Visegrad summit in Bratislava.

The political discussions between Mr Burkhalter and the Slovakian government leaders on Tuesday morning will also focus on the situation in Ukraine and the steps taken by the Federal Council to implement the new Swiss Federal Constitution article on immigration. On Tuesday morning, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs is to meet with Slovakian President Andrej Kiska before moving on to meetings with Prime Minister Robert Fico and Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák.

Mr Burkhalter and Mr Kiska will also open the Switzerland-Slovakia Innovation Forum, which under the motto "growth through innovation" seeks to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and information and the development of innovative approaches and solutions among stakeholders from both countries, in particular regarding the challenges created by demographic trends.


Further information:

Visegrad Group
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Slovakia


Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
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Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
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Publisher:

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs