“foraus” – A New Swiss Foreign Policy Think Tank
An association of young students, graduates, and professionals wants to give a fresh impetus to foreign policy decision making and discussions in Switzerland. The new politically independent think tank is called “foraus“, which stands for “Forum Aussenpolitik” (Foreign Policy Forum), and takes a stand for an open, constructive, and pragmatic Swiss foreign policy. The young organization aims at encouraging an informed dialogue on foreign policy challenges. “[It] advocates for a confident, cosmopolitan, and internationally networked Switzerland. We are decidedly against a Switzerland who’s foreign policy stays on the spot“, says foraus founding member and president Nicola Forster.
The organization currently counts around 150 members and is organized into 10 topical work groups, covering the whole foreign policy spectrum, such as development and cooperation, peace and security, migration, international multilateral organizations, or human rights. These working groups elaborate academically grounded analyses, discussion contributions, and position papers.
The forum was founded in October 2009. When asked for the reason why it only went public yesterday (June 8th, 2010), Nicola Forster mentioned that they “wanted to go public with tangible contributions” to specific foreign policy disucssion topics. And they did—so far, the forum has published three papers: one about climate policy, one about Switzerland’s role in the military task of peace promotion, and one on the current discussion in Switzerland on whether treaties should or not be ratified by the people rather than by the federal council and parliament, as happens today. The young think tank, as it looks, will bring new ideas and dynamics to the foreign policy discussions in Switzerland.
Image: © foraus – Forum Aussenpolitik
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