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During a working lunch at the invitation of the deputy speaker of the European Parliament Diana Wallis, the Swiss President explained the Swiss position on bilateral relations. She underlined Switzerland's determination to pursue the bilateral route, which is based on a global and co-ordinated approach. This topic was also discussed during the talks that Mrs Calmy-Rey held with Mr Martin Schulz, president of the Socialist group in the European Parliament, and with Mr Joseph Daul, head of the European People’s Party delegation in the European Parliament.
In her speech to the Foreign Policy Commission of the European Parliament, Mrs Calmy-Rey emphasized the specific added value contributed by Switzerland in areas such as the return of the assets of politically exposed persons, mediation in conflicts and the promotion of human rights.
These exchanges are part of a general intensification of relations with the European Parliament. The Lisbon Treaty has given the Parliament greater competence in foreign policy and in relations with third countries.
This evening the Mrs Calmy-Rey will open the first "Soirée suisse" in the Swiss Mission in Brussels. This event will take place annually in future, the aim being to increase the visibility of Switzerland in Brussels as an interesting and innovative partner, to intensify contacts to European decision-makers and opinion leaders and to promote relations between politicians and business. The 450 guests are for the most part representatives of the EU commission, the European Parliament, the Council Secretariat and people from the business world.