Switzerland is confronted with increasingly complex challenges within its regional context. Since Russia launched its war of aggression against Ukraine in violation of international law, Europe has faced a new reality. In a world marked by growing political and economic fragmentation, taking steps to ensure a stable and more prosperous Europe is even more important today than it was when the previous strategy was adopted. Settling outstanding issues in Switzerland's relationship with the EU is imperative. The Federal Council intends to step up its contributions to European security and considers Ukraine's recovery to be a matter of strategic importance.
Beyond a strengthened European dimension, Switzerland's foreign policy will remain globally oriented. The current trend towards a less Western-centric global order underlines the importance of having constructive relations with all regions of the world. The G20 countries will play a pivotal role here. Switzerland sees itself as a facilitator of global understanding and seeks to contribute to effective and focused multilateralism. Positioning International Geneva as a future-oriented player is an integral part of this.
The Federal Council sets four thematic priorities:
- In the area of peace and security, one of the objectives is to adapt Switzerland's good offices to the changed international environment, including through the deployment of instruments such as science diplomacy.
- In the priority area of prosperity and competitiveness, key objectives are to optimise framework conditions, promote resilience and diversification, and contribute to sustainable development and the global fight against poverty.
- The environment will become a new focus of foreign policy. The main themes here are climate change, biodiversity, pollution and a sustainable energy supply.
- The Federal Council is also setting a new substantive emphasis on the promotion of democracy. Switzerland is thereby extending its recognised role as a promoter of peace, international law, human rights and good governance. Switzerland also plays this role in the digital space.
Another novel aspect of the strategy is that it sets out Switzerland's foreign policy profile with its specific strengths, opportunities and instruments, including its policy of neutrality. Neutrality does not mean indifference. It provides scope for the cooperative foreign and security policy set out in the strategy and for far-reaching solidarity with our partners, within the limits imposed by the law of neutrality.
The strategy provides the guiding framework for a coherent Swiss foreign policy. It was drawn up from the outset as part of a broad interdepartmental process. The current draft will be submitted to the cantons and foreign affairs committees of the National Council and the Council of States for consultation in the coming weeks. Following this consultation phase, the Federal Council is expected to adopt the final Foreign Policy Strategy 2024–27 at the beginning of 2024.
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