State visits to the country are rare.
Swiss President Ignazio Cassis received Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová with the highest distinctions. Only in exceptional situations does a state visit to Switzerland take place. The welcome ceremony took place in Bern on the Federal Square.
Čaputová gave a speech to members of the Swiss government, in which she spoke not only about democracy, but also about Russian aggression and climate change.
Before the government
After the ceremony, the Slovak head of state and Cassis then went to the government and parliament building – the Federal Palace. There, Čaputová officially addressed the members of the government.
“There are divisions, inequalities and polarization in society, and social media often exacerbates these phenomena and contributes to the rise of extremism. The role of Europeans is to restore the balance between democratic rights and responsibility “, Čaputová said in his speech.
“Democracy must defend itself against abuse as it can be used to incite autocracy. It is our common duty – we must build unity on the basis of our common values while maintaining mutual respect and diversity opinions.”
According to Čaputová, both countries are committed to the values of liberal democracy and the rule of law.
“Whatever some say, liberal democracy can have many faces. There is room for social conservatives, liberals or progressives,” the president said, adding that Switzerland was emblematic of this.
Order under attack
Čaputová also mentioned Russian aggression in Ukraine, calling it an attack on the principles of European security and order.
“The order allowed any European country, big or small, Slovakia or Switzerland, to freely join alliances and peacefully seek its destiny,” she said, specifically mentioning battlefields. from Donbass and Kharkov. Everything must be done for Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine, she stressed.
The Slovak President also mentioned climate change and said both countries were determined to tackle it.
“Since the year 2050 is our goal to achieve carbon neutrality, we must accelerate the green transformation of our economies and societies, because our planet is running out of time. And let’s face it, we run out of excuses not to. ,” she says.