Borders cannot prevent health crises from spreading, and the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important good cross-border coordination and cooperation is. It is therefore in Switzerland's interests to participate in the EU's networks and mechanisms for crisis management and the prevention of cross-border health threats, in order to strengthen the protection of the population's health. 

Switzerland has sought an agreement with the EU on cooperation in the healthcare sector since 2008. The agreement should allow Switzerland to participate in the following: 

  • EU mechanisms for tackling serious cross-border health threats, including the Early Warning and Response System and the Health Security Committee.
  • The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). This supports participating states on issues including the early recognition and analysis of public health threats from communicable diseases.
  • The EU’s multi-annual health programme. The programme helps fund health promotion projects and other initiatives.

The scope of the health agreement focuses on health security, but it should allow for the possibility of expanding its scope to other areas of health, if that is in the interests of both parties.

Further information:

Swiss–EU health agreement, Federal Office of Public Health FOPH

Factsheet: Health (PDF, 1 Page, 298.8 kB, English)