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.
In the negotiations with the EU concerning an electricity agreement, Switzerland's main focus is on securing its position on the European energy market. Because the electricity agreement depends on the conclusion of the institutional agreement with the EU, the negotiations on the former are currently on hold. At the technical level, efforts are being made to find a way to cushion the negative impacts of Switzerland's exclusion from the coupling of the electricity markets.
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.