Cross-border cooperation between France, Germany and Switzerland: Upper Rhine intergovernmental commission meets for 30th time

Press releases, 13.12.2021

On Monday, 13 December 2021, the Franco-German-Swiss Intergovernmental Commission for the promotion of cross-border cooperation in the Upper Rhine region met for its 30th session. With Germany chairing the online session, the parties discussed numerous cross-border issues, including the pandemic, transport matters and frontier workers.

Since 1975, this commission has served as a forum for the three countries to examine key regional cross-border concerns and find ways to solve the problems they entail.

This time, the parties engaged in constructive trilateral exchanges on many cross-border topics, such as measures stemming the pandemic, vocational education and training, transport and energy issues, and frontier workers. The session also served as an opportunity to present the results of the Pandemic in the Upper Rhine Region – Appropriate Solutions for a Metropolitan Region congress, organised by the French-German-Swiss Upper Rhine Conference last November.

Valuable vehicle for fostering relations
The three countries' delegations, made up of the region's high-ranking representatives, are headed by officials sent from the respective foreign ministries. This year's Swiss delegation was led by Ambassador Pietro Piffaretti, responsible for country relations in the Europe Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). It also included Beat Jans, President of the Basel-Stadt Cantonal Government, and Kathrin Schweizer, member of the Basel-Landschaft Cantonal Government.

Switzerland views the long-time trilateral exchanges as a valuable vehicle for cultivating relations with Germany and France. The meeting also highlighted once again the excellent cooperation within Switzerland between the Confederation and the cantons on cross-border issues.

Born of the Bonn Treaty
Institutionalised cross-border cooperation in the Upper Rhine region has a long tradi-tion and has been continuously consolidated and developed over the years. The Franco-German-Swiss Intergovernmental Commission of the Upper Rhine was formed on the basis of the Bonn agreement of 22 October 1975, which was renewed by the Basel agreement of 21 September 2000.

The Commission is the link between the French-German-Swiss Upper Rhine Conference (ORK) and the respective national governments. Its mandate is make it easier to examine and solve issues in the Upper Rhine neighbourhood. It focuses first and foremost on cross-border cooperation issues that could not be resolved at the ORK. Its presidency rotates on an annual basis. Switzerland will preside the body next year.

Further information:

French-German-Swiss Upper Rhine Conference
Swiss Presidency of the ORK 2022 (DE)

Address for enquiries:

FDFA Communication
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel. Communication service: +41 58 462 31 53
Tel. Press service: +41 58 460 55 55
Twitter: @SwissMFA


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs