Cooperation with the European Union (EU)

As Switzerland’s most important trading partner, the European Union is also an important partner for dialogue in the health sector. The Federal Council therefore intends to intensify cooperation with the EU by means of an agreement, particularly in the area of crisis management and the prevention of health threats. Collaboration takes place in both formal and informal settings.

Gesundheitsministertreffen in Lyon
Federal Councillor Alain Berset with his European counterparts and the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, at an informal meeting of EU/EFTA health ministers held in Lyon (France) on 9 February 2022 (during the Covid-19 pandemic).

Formal collaboration – bilateral agreements

Even though there is no specific bilateral agreement on public health, various health-related matters are covered by the following existing agreements with the EU:

  • The Agreement on the free movement of persons (AFMP), which includes provisions on mutual recognition of professional qualifications and on the coordination of social security systems, including health and maternity insurance.
  • The Agreement on mutual recognition of conformity assessments, which is designed to eliminate technical barriers to trade for certain industrial products, including medical devices and biocidal products. The agreement also covers the certification of medicinal products and the inspection of manufacturing processes.
  • The Schengen/Dublin Agreement, which covers medical certificates for patients who need to take substances falling under the Narcotics Act with them when travelling abroad.

Informal meetings of health ministers

Switzerland is regularly invited to participate as an observer in the twice-yearly EU informal meetings of health ministers, where current European health issues are discussed.Multiannual
EU program in the field of health.

Last modification 04.01.2024

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
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