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Deputy State Secretary at the Swiss Foreign Ministry visits Slovenia

Barbara Sušnik, Director-General for European Union Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, welcomed Patric Franzen, Deputy State Secretary at the Swiss Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The talks took place in the framework of the regular political dialogue between the two countries. The two high officials focused on reviewing bilateral relations and exchanging views on current European and international issues.

Director-General Sušnik and Deputy State Secretary Franzen agreed that bilateral relations between the two countries are excellent, underlining the intense dynamics of high-level visits, especially during Slovenia’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Economic trade between Slovenia and Switzerland is growing with Switzerland being Slovenia’s second most important trading partner in 2020. The two countries recorded a trade volume of almost EUR 8 billion. Switzerland is also the third most important investor in Slovenia, with investments amounting to EUR 1.7 billion at the end of 2020. The Director-General expressed her wish to strengthen cooperation in the fields of science, research, technology, artificial intelligence and green technologies, advocating intensifying efforts towards a green and digital transition towards more sustainable development.

They also touched upon Switzerland-European Union relations, agreeing that Switzerland, which lies in the core of Europe but is not part of the EU, is an important EU partner, sharing a common culture, history and values. Following the decision of the Swiss Federal Government on 26 May 2021 to withdraw from the negotiations on the Institutional Framework Agreement, the situation is expected to be resolved as soon as possible. Director-General Sušnik stressed that the EU expects Switzerland’s clear and unambiguous political will to settle the open issues, confirming that Switzerland remains a valued EU partner and a friendly country.