To date, Switzerland has taken part in a total of 15 civilian crisis management missions of the EU (EU-missions), predominantly in the Western Balkans. This includes the deployment of around 130 specialists from the Swiss Expert Pool for Civilian Peacebuilding. This type of cooperation is made possible by the EU's well-established structures for promoting peace and stability. It is also well-suited because the regions where many EU missions operate are of importance to Switzerland in terms of peace and security. Switzerland's deployment of civilian experts aims to strengthen the rule of law, contribute to police and judicial reform, and make state reform processes more inclusive of civil society.
Currently, Switzerland has to negotiate the legal and organisational conditions for each participation in a civilian mission through separate (participation) agreements. The Federal Council is therefore seeking to regulate these general conditions in a new framework participation agreement (FPA), which will make the deployment of Swiss specialists to EU civilian missions easier and more efficient.
Easier to take part, no additional obligations
An FPA does not compel Switzerland to take part in EU civilian missions. Switzerland will continue to decide itself whether or not to take part, based on its own peace and security policy priorities.
In making Switzerland's participation in EU civilian missions easier the Federal Council is further strengthening its support to civilian peacebuilduing. Commitment to peace and security is one of Switzerland's foreign policy priorities and the deployment of Swiss experts contributes significantly to this goal. In addition to EU missions, Switzerland also takes part in international missions under the UN, OSCE and other organisations.
The next stage of the process will be to consult the foreign affairs committees of the National Council and the Council of States on the negotiating mandate.
Address for enquiries:
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA
Tel. +41 58 462 31 53