President Ignazio Cassis attends meeting of German-speaking heads of state in Liechtenstein

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Press releases, 13.09.2022

At the invitation of Alois, Hereditary Prince and Regent of Liechtenstein, the annual meeting of the six German-speaking heads of state took place in Vaduz from 12 to 13 September. The talks focused on current domestic and foreign policy issues, in particular the war in Ukraine. Philanthropy and its benefits for society were also discussed as a thematic focus of the meeting.

In addition to Swiss President Ignazio Cassis, and Alois, Hereditary Prince and Regent of Liechtenstein as host, the German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Henri, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, and Philippe, King of the Belgians, took part in this year's meeting of German-speaking heads of state in Liechtenstein. Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen was unable to attend this year's event.

The annual meeting reflects the close relations enjoyed by the German-speaking neighbours and centres on current domestic and foreign policy issues. This year, there was a special focus on the Ukraine conflict and its consequences. In his remarks on Switzerland's priorities, Mr Cassis also underlined the importance of relations between Switzerland and the EU, saying that the mutually beneficial partnership should once again be effective in the areas of education, research and innovation, in particular through Switzerland's rapid association to the Horizon package and Erasmus+ for the period 2021–27.

The annual meeting also provides the opportunity to jointly explore a topic defined by the host country. This year's focus theme was: 'Philanthropy and society – framework conditions for effective cooperation between politics, the economy and philanthropists.' Mr Cassis combined his remarks on the tradition of philanthropy in Switzerland – a fact demonstrated especially by the many foundations in the country – with an appeal to further strengthen cooperation with the private sector in the field of humanitarian aid and development cooperation, saying: "Philanthropic approaches can complement the financial contributions of donor countries, to help foster innovation and test new solutions to address growing humanitarian needs."  

The meetings of the heads of state from the German-speaking countries have been held between Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Liechtenstein since 2004. Since 2014, Belgium and Luxembourg have also participated in the meetings, which are hosted alternately by the participating countries. Last year's meeting was held in Potsdam, while next year's is scheduled to take place in Belgium. Switzerland last hosted the meeting in 2018.

Further information:

Bilateral relations Switzerland - Liechtenstein
Bilateral relations Switzerland - Germany
Bilateral relations Switzerland - Luxembourg
Bilateral relations Switzerland - Belgium
Bilateral relations Switzerland - Austria

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