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As ice caps are melting, the Arctic receives unprecedented attention from states in the region and from other major powers. Trade routes for international shipping and some of the Arctic’s vast resources are becoming more accessible. Increased interests and activity in the Arctic bear opportunities and risks in two main areas: environmental and security. Even though the Arctic appears far off, both are also of concern to Switzerland.

The proposed “Swiss Vision for the Arctic” imagines the kind of Arctic Switzerland would like to see and to which it could and should contribute. Based on a Swiss interest to mitigate climate change and environmental hazards, this vision highlights that commercial activities and regional development in the Arctic need to be pursued in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to the benefit of the local population. As Switzerland’s security and prosperity depend on a functioning European and international order, the vision foresees a peaceful resolution of disputes through legal mechanisms, transparency about security perceptions, and a limitation of military activities, guided by the principle of human security.

foraus präsentiert im neuen Diskussionspapier konkrete Handlungsvorschläge, wie die Beziehung zwischen der Schweiz und der Europäischen Union in fünf Bereichen vertieft werden sollen. Eine bessere Zusammenarbeit in den Dossiers Strom, Gesundheit, Telekommunikation, Umwelt und Forschung würde eine markante Verbesserung der Lebensqualität für SchweizerInnen bedeuten. Voraussetzung dafür ist die Unterzeichnung des institutionellen Abkommens.

 

Dans son nouveau papier de discussion, le foraus présente des propositions d’actions concrètes sur la manière dont les relations entre la Suisse et l’Union européenne devraient être approfondies dans cinq domaines. Une meilleure coopération dans les domaines de l’électricité, de la santé, des télécommunications, de l’environnement et de la recherche signifierait une nette amélioration de la qualité de vie des citoyen·ne·s suisses. Une condition préalable à cela est la signature de l’accord institutionnel.

Since the end of January 2020 and the first cases of COVID-19 in Europe, the Schengen member states have been operating in a rapidly changing environment. In an attempt to limit the spread of the epidemic, they have introduced temporary border controls and travel restrictions within the Schengen area with little to no coordination. The economic, social and political costs of these unilateral measures are putting a heavy strain on the Schengen system and its member states. The absence of a joint response could have a long-lasting impact on the Schengen project and, more generally, on European integration.

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