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Press Release (13.10.2014 - FDJP)

President of the Swiss Confederation Didier Burkhalter receives Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev

Berne. The President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Bukhalter, received the President of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, on Monday 13 October 2014 during the latter’s official visit to Switzerland. Talks focused on relations and cooperation between Switzerland and Bulgaria, notably in the field of vocational education and training. The meeting, also attended by Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga, included discussions on Swiss policy on Europe, Switzerland's contribution to EU enlargement and various topical international issues, especially those related to the OSCE, which Switzerland is chairing in 2014.

Press Release (17.09.2014 - FDJP)

Official visit by Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel

Bern. President Didier Burkhalter welcomed Luxembourg’s prime minister to Neuchâtel on 17 September for an official working visit. Their talks focused on the countries’ bilateral relations, relations between Switzerland and the EU, immigration policy and Switzerland and Luxembourg’s co-presidency of the European Space Agency. In the afternoon Mr Bettel met Federal Councillors Simonetta Sommaruga and Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf in Bern to discuss issues relating to immigration and financial and fiscal policy.

Press Release (31.07.2014 - FOM)

Migration Report 2013 published

Bern. Restructuring in the asylum sector, a week of action against trafficking in human beings, and the admission of groups of Syrian refugees are just some of the issues that the Federal Office for Migration (FOM) dealt with in 2013. The Migration Report 2013, which was published today, contains numbers and statistics, along with reports on the FOM's various activities.

Press Release (04.07.2014 - FOM)

Switzerland and IGAD sign framework agreement on partnership and cooperation

Bern. The Swiss ambassador in Ethiopia, Andrea Semadeni, and the executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Mahboub Maalim, have signed a framework agreement on partnership and cooperation between Switzerland and IGAD today in Addis Ababa. The agreement, which comes into force with today's signing, provides for increased cooperation between Switzerland and IGAD in the Horn of Africa in food security, migration, peace and security, as well as in the field of science.

Press Release (20.06.2014 - FDJP)

Federal Council presents concept for implementing the new article on immigration

Bern. On Friday, the Federal Council approved the concept for implementing the new article of the Federal Constitution on immigration. The concept outlines how the Federal Council will set the quantitative limits and quotas for controlling migration to Switzerland from February 2017. The Federal Council will base its decision not only on the needs reported by the cantons, but also on the analyses of an advisory committee. Social partners will also be consulted. Quotas will apply to all types of permit valid for four months or more. To meet the needs of the labour market, it is planned to foster and exploit the potential of the workforce already available in Switzerland. The proposals are set out in the Federal Council's concept for implementing the new provisions of the Constitution on immigration. In the concept, which it approved on Friday, the Federal Council lays down important benchmarks for the draft legislation due to follow at the end of year.

Press Release (26.05.2014 - FOM)

Arrest of two asylum seekers in Sri Lanka: results of review process now available

Bern. In the summer of 2013, two Sri Lankan nationals whose asylum applications had been rejected in Switzerland were arrested upon their return to Sri Lanka. The Federal Office for Migration (FOM) immediately responded at the time and ordered a suspension of all removal orders relating to Sri Lankan nationals. At the same time, it launched an internal and external review process to determine how the asylum applications from these two Sri Lankan nationals had been handled. Assessors identified shortcomings at various stages in the handling of both asylum applications. The combination of these factors resulted in an incorrect assessment of the personal risk to which the asylum seekers were exposed. The FOM regrets the outcome in both cases. The reports drafted upon completion of this review process suggest various corrective measures that the FOM has already begun implementing or has already implemented. The FOM has also adapted its practices for the granting of asylum and the issuance of removal orders for Sri Lankan nationals to reflect the current situation. The safeguards are now in place for suspension of removal orders to be lifted. All asylum seekers for whom a removal order had been issued will now have their asylum applications re-examined on the basis of updated criteria enabling determination of their current level of risk.

Press Release (08.05.2014 - fedpol)

MROS registers suspicious assets of nearly CHF 3 billion

Berne. The Money Laundering Reporting Office Switzerland (MROS) registered suspicious assets of nearly CHF 3 billion in 2013. While the number of suspicious activity reports (SARs) fell slightly over the previous year, the total asset value of these reports remained high.

Press Release (30.04.2014 - FDJP)

The Federal Council takes steps to re-launch discussions with the EU on Switzerland’s participation in EU programmes and market access

Berne. The Federal Council wishes to re-launch negotiations and discussions on Switzerland’s participation in framework programmes and market access. To that end it approved a declaration envisaging a number of measures. These include a solution to the admission under quotas of Croatian citizens to the Swiss labour market. In addition, the Federal Council confirmed the enlargement contribution for Croatia.

Press Release (08.04.2014 - FDJP)

Swiss Federal Council Member Sommaruga at the Conference on Police Co-operation in South-Eastern Europe

Berne. On Tuesday, Swiss Federal Minister of Police and Justice, Simonetta Sommaruga, attended the Ministerial Conference on Regional Police Co-operation in South-Eastern Europe in Opatija, Croatia. Switzerland organised the Conference jointly with Croatia. On the fringes of the Conference, Sommaruga discussed Croatian citizens' access to the Swiss labour market with the Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Vesna Pusić, and the Croatian Minister of the Interior, Ranko Ostojić. On this occasion, matters concerning the referendum of 9 February were also discussed.

Press Release (01.04.2014 - FDJP)

Official visit to Bern by the President of Germany, Joachim Gauck

Bern. On 1 April 2014, the President of the Swiss Confederation, Mr Didier Burkhalter, welcomed the Federal President of Germany, Mr Joachim Gauck, for an official visit. Their talks, which were also attended by Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga, focused on the varied and close relations between Switzerland and Germany. The meeting was also an opportunity for an exchange of views about direct democracy, Europe's international responsibility and the role of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which is chaired by Switzerland this year.

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