The President of the Confederation is travelling to Brussels at the invitation of the Foreign Policy Committee of the European Parliament. As part of a public hearing, she will speak, among other things, about Swiss foreign policy and its relationship to European common foreign and security policy. Mrs Calmy-Rey will have further discussions at a working lunch with the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Diana Wallis, and in the afternoon with the President of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D), Martin Schulz, and with the President of the European People’s Party (EPP), Joseph Daul.
These meetings are part of the efforts to intensify relations with the European Parliament, which under the Treaty of Lisbon was granted additional powers in foreign policy and relations with non-EU countries such as Switzerland. The talks follow on from the meeting between Mrs Calmy-Rey and the President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, on 8 February 2011, and his visit to Switzerland in early June 2011.
In the evening the President of the Confederation will open the first “Soirée suisse” at the Swiss Mission in Brussels, where she will address an invited audience on the subject of Switzerland and its relationship to Europe.
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