Switzerland's energy supply depends very highly (around 80%) on imports of fossil fuels and combustibles, and on imported nuclear fuels. Even the country's electricity supply depends on imports, at least during the winter.
This high dependence on imports, the need to guarantee supply security and the declared sustainability objectives of Switzerland's energy policy mean that close co-operation with international energy organisations and foreign energy authorities is an essential requirement. Based on the 2008 strategy of the Federal Council, different priorities arise with regard to co-operation with the various institutions.
Switzerland maintains contacts at the highest level (Federal Council and directors of federal authorities) on a regular basis with neighbouring countries. The broad area of co-operation ranges from supply security through to the promotion of renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy research. Switzerland is also entering into energy partnerships with countries outside the EU (Azerbaijan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Russia). These serve the purpose of promoting sustainable energy sources and energy efficiency in these countries, but are also intended to help secure the southern gas corridor which is of considerable importance for Switzerland.
In its discussions with the EU, Switzerland's priority is to maintain its position on the European energy market. Switzerland has also been negotiating an electricity agreement with the EU since 2007. The ultimate objective of these negotiations is to conclude a comprehensive energy agreement with the EU that encompasses not only electricity, but also aspects such as energy infrastructure, energy efficiency and gas.
Finally, Switzerland is campaigning in favour of a global energy policy that is co-determined to a significant extent by multilateral bodies such as the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Energy Charter and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in which it has a say as a member state.