Switzerland 1999 Constitution (reviewed 2014)

Table of Contents

Chapter 2. Powers

Section 1. Relations with Foreign States

Article 54. Foreign relations

  1. Foreign relations are the responsibility of the Confederation.
  2. The Confederation shall ensure that the independence of Switzerland and its welfare is safeguarded; it shall in particular assist in the alleviation of need and poverty in the world and promote respect for human rights and democracy, the peaceful co­existence of peoples as well as the conservation of natural resources.
  3. It shall respect the powers of the Cantons and protect their interests.

Article 55. Participation of the Cantons in foreign policy decisions

  1. The Cantons shall be consulted on foreign policy decisions that affect their powers or their essential interests.
  2. The Confederation shall inform the Cantons fully and in good time and shall consult with them.
  3. The views of the Cantons are of particular importance if their powers are affected. In such cases, the Cantons shall participate in international negotiations in an appropriate manner.

Article 56. Relations between the Cantons and foreign states

  1. A Canton may conclude treaties with foreign states on matters that lie within the scope of its powers.
  2. Such treaties must not conflict with the law or the interests of the Confederation, or with the law of any other Cantons. The Canton must inform the Confederation before concluding such a treaty.
  3. A Canton may deal directly with lower ranking foreign authorities; in other cases, the Confederation shall conduct relations with foreign states on behalf of a Canton.