Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann to pay working visits to Brussels and London

Bern, 28.03.2017 - On 30 March Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, the head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research EAER, will hold talks in Brussels with EU commissioners Andrus Ansip and Cecilia Malmström. On 31 March he will meet Liam Fox, the UK Secretary of State for International Trade, and Andrea Leadsom, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in London.

The meeting with Andrus Ansip, the European Commission vice president responsible for the digital single market, will focus on the opportunities and challenges of digitalisation and the EU’s and Switzerland’s strategies in this area.

At the meeting with Cecilia Malmström, EU commissioner for trade, Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann will discuss bilateral trade relations and the implementation of the bilateral agreements. Further topics will include relations of the EU and Switzerland with third countries, the current world trade climate and the challenges facing the World Trade Organization WTO.

Bilateral economic relations with the UK following Brexit

The United Kingdom is expected to formally give notice to the European Council of its intention to leave the European Union on 29 March. Switzerland has close trade relations with the United Kingdom; last year the UK market was the fifth most important for Swiss goods exports (CHF 11.4bn) and the eighth largest market of origin for imports (CHF 6.4bn).

In London the head of the EAER will meet Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for International Trade, for a working meeting on the future shape of bilateral economic relations after Brexit. As part of the Federal Council’s ‘Mind the gap’ strategy the aim is to reach a follow-up arrangement as swiftly as possible, particularly regarding trade with the UK. Mr Schneider-Ammann will also be meeting Andrea Leadsom, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Note for journalists: Press call in Brussels and London

There will be a brief press call for journalists on both days; on Thursday in Brussels towards the end of the afternoon, and on Friday in London around midday. Journalists will receive an invitation directly from the Swiss mission in Brussels and from the embassy in London. A short press release will be distributed after each visit. 

Address for enquiries

Noé Blancpain,
Head of Information EAER,
Tel. +41 78 748 61 63,


Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research

Last modification 27.04.2016

Top of page


EAER Information Service

Federal Palace East Wing
3003 Bern



Print contact