EEA leaders visit Switzerland
The Swiss federal office for the environment invited EEA management to meet with national Swiss environment authorities shortly after the country became the 32nd Agency member on 1 April. A main focus for the discussions was the integration of the country into the full range of EEA activities. The Swiss side will be represented by among others the president of the Swiss Federal Council and director Dr Bruno Oberle of The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). The FOEN is Switzerland's National Focal Point, i.e. the main national institution for contacts and exchanges of data with the EEA. Dr Bruno Oberle represents Switzerland on the EEA Management Board.
Switzerland is no novice when it comes to collaboration with the Agency as there have been contacts and collaboration between the country and the EEA for several years. A Swiss national expert has worked in the Agency to bring in specific Swiss expertise relevant to EEA working areas and reporting activities. Switzerland has also been covered in EEA reports with a pan-European geographical scope ever since the first such report was published by the Agency in the mid-nineties.
With full membership, however, Switzerland will become much deeper involved; have a seat in the EEA management board and appoint its own EIONET partner institutions to the network. The country will also contribute to the Agency's budget along the same lines as other non-EU members of the Agency. Swiss nationals will also be able to apply for jobs in the Agency and Swiss companies for EEA contracts.
Link to the Swiss Federal Department of the Environment, transport, Energy and Communications:
Link to the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN):