Here you can find the last 12 media releases and other news published by the FDFA, such as statements, announcements and articles, in chronological order.

All media releases can be found on the Administarions's website.

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Patric Franzen and Johannes Matyassy appointed Deputy State Secretaries in the restructured State Secretariat FDFA

13.01.2021 — Press release EDA
The newly restructured State Secretariat of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA started work at the beginning of 2021. It comprises six geographic, five thematic divisions as well as four divisions providing specific services. Now located under one roof, their close proximity will result in greater coherence in Swiss foreign policy as a whole. The State Secretariat is headed by State Secretary Livia Leu. She will be supported by two Deputy State Secretaries, Patric Franzen and Johannes Matyassy, who also have line management responsibilities. The Federal Council has been informed about the appointment of the two deputy state secretaries on 13 January 2021.

Federal Council stresses Africa’s importance and adopts first continent-wide strategy

13.01.2021 — Press release EDA
At its meeting on 13 January 2021 the Federal Council approved a strategy on Sub-Saharan Africa for the first time. The countries of North Africa are already covered by the MENA strategy adopted by the Federal Council on 14 October 2020. The new strategy recognises the great diversity of the African continent and the challenges and opportunities it presents. It sets out Switzerland's priorities and measures in the region for the 2021–24 period. In addition to peace, the core elements of the strategy are security and human rights, migration, prosperity, sustainability and digitalisation, areas in which the strategy builds on a tradition of partnership with the states of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Switzerland and The Gambia sign cooperation agreements on migration and civil aviation

12.01.2021 — Press release EDA
On 12 January Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, as vice president of the Federal Council, and Federal Councillor Karin Keller-Sutter signed two cooperation agreements – on civil aviation and on migration – during the official visit to Bern by a delegation from the Republic of The Gambia, headed by Vice President Isatou Touray. The agreement on migration allows Switzerland and The Gambia to strengthen their respective efforts in fighting illegal migration.

The FDFA Is concerned about the recent incidents in Washington D.C.

07.01.2021 — Press release EDA
The day after the recent incidents in Washington D.C., Livia Leu, State Secretary of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), expressed Switzerland's concern about the violence and especially the deaths to the Chargé d'Affaires of the US Embassy. The peaceful transition of power is a central element of a democracy. Switzerland trusts in the strength of American institutions.

New agreements between Switzerland and the United Kingdom take effect

29.12.2020 — Press release EDA
The Switzerland-EU bilateral agreements will cease to apply to the United Kingdom at the end of the Brexit transition period. These agreements will be succeeded by a series of follow-up agreements that Switzerland negotiated with the UK as part of its Mind the Gap strategy (including Mind the Gap+). Most of the existing rights and obligations between the two countries will continue to apply. The FDFA has taken note of the conclusion of a trade deal between the EU and the UK and welcomes the fact that it has been possible to avoid a withdrawal of the UK with no deal.

Signing of the new agreement on the taxation of cross-border commuters – Ignazio Cassis meets with the Ticino State Council in Bellinzona

23.12.2020 — Press release EDA
On 23 December, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis held a press conference alongside State Secretary for International Finance Daniela Stoffel and members of the State Council of the Canton of Ticino following the signing, in Rome, of the new agreement between Switzerland and Italy on the taxation of cross-border commuters. The head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) underscored how the agreement strengthened bilateral and cross-border relations between the two countries by redefining the tax regime applicable to cross-border commuters in the long term.

Switzerland's image abroad in 2020

21.12.2020 — Press release EDA
In 2020, Switzerland drew less attention from foreign media than in the previous year. Media coverage focused on fewer topics, in particular Switzerland's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the debate about the Office of the Attorney General. Switzerland continues to enjoy a high reputation internationally. In the Nation Brands Index (NBI), which compares the public image of 50 countries, Switzerland achieved a very good seventh place. As in previous years, 'brand' Switzerland once again featured in foreign films and series.

Coronavirus: Entry ban and retroactive quarantine for persons from the UK and South Africa

21.12.2020 — Press release EDA
Following the discovery of a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus in the UK and South Africa, the Federal Council today decided to take steps to prevent the further spread of this new virus strain. All persons who have entered Switzerland from these two countries since 14 December must go into quarantine for 10 days. The Federal Council has also introduced a general entry ban from today for all foreign nationals seeking to enter Switzerland from the UK and South Africa. This is intended in particular to stop travel from these countries for tourism purposes.

New Strategy for Communication Abroad with a view to safeguarding Switzerland's interests and new FDFA sponsorship guidelines

18.12.2020 — Press release EDA
At its meeting on 18 December 2020, the Federal Council approved Switzerland's Strategy for Communication Abroad 2021–24, which sets priorities for the coming years. The strategy aims to promote Switzerland's image abroad and help safeguard its interests. Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, appropriate communication and networking platforms will raise the profile of Swiss economy. New FDFA guidelines on cooperation with sponsors will apply from 2021.

Death penalty moratorium: UN General Assembly adopts resolution negotiated by Switzerland

16.12.2020 — Press release EDA
On 16 December, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for a moratorium on capital punishment. This latest resolution negotiated by Switzerland and Mexico advances the ongoing efforts towards the universal abolition of the death penalty and contains key amendments for women, minors and the families of prisoners sentenced to death. The resolution was adopted by 123 member states. Four new countries voted yes for the first time. This is the most important support ever given to this initiative at the UN General Assembly.

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