In the next ten days President Ignazio Cassis will meet with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Liechtenstein’s Prime Minister Daniel Risch.
The visit to Vienna on Thursday continues a decades-old tradition of each new Swiss and Austrian president making their first trip abroad to each other’s country. Talks will focus on the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries and Switzerland’s European policy. President Ignazio Cassis will be received in Vienna by his Austrian counterpart, President Alexander Van der Bellen.
In the course of the day, separate talks will also be held with Chancellor Karl Nehammer and National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka. The talks in Vienna will centre on implementation of the strategic partnership between Switzerland and Austria with a view to strengthening bilateral relations, as well as the response to the pandemic and Switzerland’s next steps in European policy. International current affairs and multilateral cooperation will also be discussed, as well as topics such as science diplomacy, which Switzerland would like to expand in the coming years.
Presentation of the Swiss OSCE Action Plan During the visit to the Austrian capital, meetings will also be held with Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau and the Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Helga Schmid. Poland has the OSCE Chair in 2022. Ignazio Cassis will take the opportunity to present the Swiss 2022‒2025 OSCE Action Plan, which sets out Switzerland’s goals and priorities in the run-up to the 50th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act in 2025.
The Action Plan aims to maintain and at the same time revitalise the OSCE’s achievements to date, thereby helping to strengthen the organisation as a platform for dialogue on European security. President Cassis will be accompanied on his trip to Vienna by Claudia Friedl (member of the National Council Foreign Affairs Committee) and Nicolo Paganini (member of the National Council Environment, Spatial Planning and Energy Committee), both members of the parliamentary delegation for relations with the Austrian Parliament, as well as by State Secretary Livia Leu. On his way back from Vienna Mr Cassis will attend the 50th International Lake Constance Conference on Mount Säntis, where a bilateral meeting is also scheduled with the Prime Minister of Liechtenstein, Daniel Risch. Next week President Cassis will travel to Berlin for talks with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The meeting on Thursday, 20 January, will address bilateral issues, responses to the pandemic, other international current affairs and the commitment of both countries in the United Nations.