Switzerland’s Foreign Policy


According to the Federal Constitution, the goal of Swiss foreign policy is ensuring Switzerland’s independence and security and promoting the nation’s welfare.  Through its foreign policy, Switzerland also makes a contribution to the alleviation of need and poverty in the world, the respect for human rights and the promotion of democracy as well as to the peaceful coexistence of peoples and the conservation of natural resources.


The foreign policy strategy of the Swiss government (the Federal Council) for the 2012-2015 legislative period includes the following priorities:

  • Maintaining and developing Switzerland’s relations with neighboring states with a special emphasis on border regions.
  • Adjusting and strengthening Switzerland’s relations with the European Union while safeguarding  the country’s scope of political action and economic interests over the long term.
  • Continuing and adapting Switzerland’s commitment to stability in Europe, in regions bordering Europe, and in the rest of the world.
  • Strengthening and diversifying strategic partnerships outside of Europe as well as making a commitment to improving global governance and consistently promoting Geneva as a location for international organizations and events.


European politics
Relations with neighbouring countries and policy on Europe are two of the four priorities of the foreign policy strategy for 2012–2015.


The financial centre and the economy
The financial sector and exports as pillars of the Swiss economy; Swiss laws prohibit the investment of illicitly acquired assets in the Swiss financial center.

Development and Cooperation
Swiss commitment to sustainable global development to reduce poverty and global risks; focus on fragile and conflict-affected countries; development cooperation, cooperation with Eastern Europe and Swiss Humanitarian Aid implement concrete projects.

International law
Governs relations between states and serves as the basis for ensuring peace, stability and the protection of people.

Human rights and human security
Protecting individuals and the community: strong Swiss commitment to promoting human rights, peace, humanitarian policy, migration policy, and combating human trafficking.

Security Policy
Switzerland is involved in international organisations and security policy partnerships that contribute to world stability; commitment to a low level of armament, non-proliferation and arms control.


International organizations
Organisations where Switzerland is a member, where it has a mission or which are based in Switzerland.

Environment, science, transport, energy and health
Ensuring coherence in specific policy areas, particularly education, science, space, health, the environment, sustainable development, energy and transport; coordination with specialised departments and safeguarding of foreign policy interests