Didier Burkhalter, the Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), will visit Serbia, Albania and Kosovo on Thursday and Friday to meet with the countries' leaders and discuss Switzerland's engagement during its OSCE chairmanship. The Western Balkans are an important arena for OSCE operations, with six missions currently under way there. Reconciliation and cooperation efforts in this region are one of the priorities of the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship, building on Switzerland's long-standing commitment to peace policy in this part of the world.
Following the suspension of negotiations on Switzerland’s association to Erasmus+, the Federal Council tasked the EAER with drawing up an interim solution for 2014. This was approved at today’s Federal Council meeting. The interim solution gives priority to mobility activities and is based on the principle that Switzerland wishes to regain full associate country status.
In the future, the Federal Council will require foreign companies which provide services in Switzerland temporarily to indicate their Swiss VAT number. This is to occur within the scope of the existing online declaration procedure for temporary employment in Switzerland and serves to improve verification of VAT liability. At its meeting today, the Federal Council instructed the Federal Department of Finance, together with the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), to take care of the implementation of the measure.
The Federal Council would like Switzerland to continue its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol. Between now and 2020, it would like Switzerland to reduce its emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels. This objective is consistent with the aims of the CO2 Act. At a meeting today, the Federal Council adopted a dispatch to this effect for the attention of the Swiss parliament.