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Blockchain, AI and the Swiss Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–2023

On the beginning of every new legislation, the Federal Council presents its Foreign Policy Strategy for the next three years. Besides the traditional pillars of Swiss Foreign Policy such as peace, welfare and sustainability, this time they astonishingly named digitalisation as one of their key aspects.

The Swiss Government sees digitalisation and new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain as a chance to foster the other pillars of the Swiss Foreign Policy Strategy.

Furthermore, the strategy envisions the establishment of Switzerland as a haven for data. This could become a new offering of the diplomatic service of Switzerland. In contrary to the current situation, where big tech conglomerates are collecting data massively and the people just have to accept their rules and services, Switzerland pursuits the strategy of a free, open and secure digital space. Switzerland engages itself for a digital ecosystem which orientates on its fundamental values of a liberal and rule of law-based society.

Strengthening Geneva’s position as a multinational platform

Switzerland wants to make Geneva to the centre for global digital and technology politics. The Federal Government supports several initiatives as the Geneva Internet Platform who serves as an information platform and as dialogue forum on all aspects of digitalisation. Through such initiatives, Geneva should attract more future-oriented multi-stakeholder platforms regarding digitalisation and new technology to Switzerland.

It is gratifying that the Federal Council sees the opportunities offered by digitisation and would like to officially pursue this. In particular, the naming of Blockchain as a future technology shows that the Federal Council has recognised its importance. It is also exciting that the Federal Council wants to become more involved in the area of digital governance. Particularly concerning the recently presented openVASP initiative, which is an industry-driven regulation, it is important to find ways in which official Switzerland can better support such autonomous efforts in the future.

We can remain curious whether words will soon be followed by deeds and that Crypto Valley and the entire Blockchain industry will continue to grow in attractiveness.

Download the full Swiss Foreign Policy Strategy 2020 – 2023 (in German)

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