Visit by Bavarian Minister-President Horst Seehofer to Bern

Bern, Press release, 13.02.2012

The President of the Swiss Confederation, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, head of the Federal Department of Finance (FDF), has today received the Bavarian Minister-President and President of the German Bundesrat, Horst Seehofer in Bern for a courtesy visit. Other meetings took place with Federal Councillors Didier Burkhalter and Johann Schneider-Ammann as well as with the President of the Council of States, Hans Altherr. In addition to discussions on Swiss European policy, the agenda of the talks focused on bilateral relations with Germany and in particular relations between Switzerland and Bavaria, covering economic and fiscal issues as well as questions concerning transport and energy.

Switzerland’s relations with its northern neighbour Germany are more intensive and diverse than with any other country in the world, and in particular with the directly bordering Länder Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. It has been established that there is still large potential for developing economic relations, especially with  Bavaria. Diverse and friendly contacts have existed at the political, academic and cultural levels for a considerable time. This is evidenced not only by the Bavarian Foreign Representation in Zurich, which was opened in December 2010 to support Bavarian companies established in Switzerland, but also by the 6,000 Swiss nationals living in Bavaria. 

At noon today, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, received the Bavarian Minister-President and President of the German Bundesrat, Horst Seehofer, in Bern for a courtesy visit. Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann, head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs (FDEA) participated in the working lunch hosted for Mr Seehofer by the Swiss President following the meeting. In addition, the Bavarian Minister-President held talks with Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), and with the President of the Council of States, Hans Altherr. 

Discussions took place on Swiss policy on Europe, in particular on bilateral and regional relations with Germany and Bavaria, including economic and fiscal policy and the implementation of measures concerning the free movement of persons and the withholding agreement tax that the two countries initialled last year. Transport issues such as the rail link between Zurich and Munich were also discussed. Other themes included cross-border cooperation between Switzerland and Germany in the energy sector as well as in the context of the Internationale Bodensee Konferenz and the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Alpenländer (Arge Alp). 

The Minister-President of Bavaria will end his stay in Switzerland with a lecture at the Europa Institute of the University of Zurich. 


Further information:

Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Germany


Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47
E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Publisher:

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Federal Department of Finance