Transparency and involvement of civil society

Civil society is regularly informed and consulted on current issues in the context of negotiations and implementation of free trade agreements. Relevant information as well as problems and proposals are introduced and discussed in various forums and topic-specific meetings.

Transparency in free trade negotiations

Together with the other EFTA States, Switzerland strives to strengthen transparency in the various stages of free trade negotiations. This already begins before the start of negotiations by informing the public about the EFTA States' negotiating objectives and providing a summary of EFTA's text proposals. Subsequently, the EFTA Secretariat publishes regular reports on the results of the individual negotiating rounds. After the conclusion of the negotiations, the EFTA States inform the public about the outcome by means of factsheets on the individual chapters and make the agreement texts publicly available immediately after the conclusion of the legal review. Finally, in the implementation phase, the EFTA States provide regular information on the content and results of meetings of the Joint Committees. The relevant information can be found on the EFTA website.

Meetings with stakeholders

Liaison Group Foreign Trade–NGO/NGO-Roundtable

Meetings with the Liaison Group are designed to provide information on current issues related to ongoing negotiations and the implementation of free trade agreements and WTO agreements and activities. These meetings take place twice a year and are attended by representatives from research, politics, business associations and non-governmental organisations.

Other forums with the civil society in which free trade agreements are discussed are the Commission for Economic Policy and theTripartite Federal Commission on ILO Affairs.

Meetings on specific issues

Trade and Sustainability Roundtable:  At the invitation of SECO and foraus - Swiss Forum on Foreign Policy, the second roundtable on trade and sustainable development was convened in Bern on June 6, 2023. The event enabled experts from science, civil society, business and the federal administration to exchange views and ideas on the question of how international trade policy can promote sustainability? An overview of the most important outcomes of the discussion can be found in this report (PDF, 178 kB, 07.11.2023). A first edition of the roundtable took place on June 23, 2021 in cooperation with the World Trade Institute WTI and the Centre for Development and Environment CDE of the University of Bern (see report, PDF, 887 kB, 27.10.2021).

Get involved

We are very keen to discuss the general public’s concerns and interests in connection with free trade agreements. You can contact us about a free trade agreement at any time.

Specialist staff
Last modification 16.02.2024

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