A few days ago I participated in a discussion of young academics and professionals with the swiss ambassador in Berlin Tim Guldimann.
The theme of the talk was EU-Swiss relations.
As a former resident in switzerland I was very interested in the topic especially as I had visited some workshops and events during my time in Zürich on the same topic.
The debate was interesting and filled with insides from Mr Guldimanns careerin the diplomatic service.
Although the german-swiss "Steuerabkommen" was blocked by the Bundesrat Mr Guldimann was optimistic about finding a negotiated compromise on the issue of tax evation with the new german goverment after it has constituted.
We also discussed the topic of a swiss EU membership perpsective. Although admitting that a membership would have manifold advantages Mr Guldimann persisted that the Swiss-EU bilateral treaties that build the framework for economic and political cooperation have so far worked very well, especially for switzerland. He further argued that the swiss identity and the current mindset in teh country ist not giving any signs towards a membership perspective.
Besides the debate it was an interesting opportunity to gain insides into the world of diplomacy and get a glimpse of one of Berlins most beautifull embassies. Although having moved away from Zürich to Berlin I personally still feel attached to switzerland through the inspiring and amazing time I experienced living, studying and workikng there. Such occasions as this forum in the swiss embassy provide possibilities to build bridges and create real dialougue amongst interested young professionals and academics.
is a researcher and PhD student in political science, freelance journalist and photographer interested in Democracy, Transition, Authoritarianism and Security especially in the MIddle East and North Africa.