Eduard Gnesa specializes in political and legal affairs and international cooperation issues, with a particular focus on migration policy. His professional career spans various executive capacities within the Swiss federal administration. These included the Federal Department of Justice and Police, where he served as Director of the Federal Office for Migration, and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, where he was a Special Envoy for International Cooperation on Migration Issues. Amb. Gnesa has continued to perform various duties since his retirement last year. He is a Delegate for Refugees and Business at the State Secretariat for Migration, he lectures on Swiss and international migration policy at the University of St. Gallen (HSG), and he is a member of various international bodies specializing in migration and refugee affairs.
Switzerland, although not a frontline country in terms of irregular and mixed migration flows, has invested significant resources to develop a foreign policy on migration that addresses all aspects of migration while also taking national interests into account. To that end, it has developed a toolbox of various instruments - including international and regional dialogues on migration, migration partnerships with individual countries, programs to strengthen the protection of refugees and migrants in their regions of origin, and readmission agreements and cooperation agreements concerning migration - that comprise its foreign policy on migrations. This whole of government approach is complementary to both international efforts and unique needs of people on the move. Amb. Gnesa will discuss these topics covered by Switzerland’s foreign policy on migration as an example of good practices and seek to jump start an intelligent conversation on national and international cooperation to find good solutions.