The role of the EU Mission

The Role of the Mission/Delegation

In 1964, the European Commission decided to establish a full diplomatic mission, the Permanent Delegation to the International Organisations in Geneva, to represent the interests of the European Community and its Member States at the Geneva-based international organisations, specialised agencies and bodies, including the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon on 1st December 2009, the Delegation of the European Commission became the Delegation of the European Union. Since January 2011 the EU has two representations in Geneva: the Permanent Mission of the European Union to the World Trade Organization and the Permanent Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations Office and to other international organisations in Geneva.

The EU Mission to the WTO carries out the following main tasks :

  • representing the interests of the European Union and its 28 Member States in the area of multilateral trade, and negotiating on their behalf at the World Trade Organisation (WTO);
  • co-ordinating the positions of the European Union and its 28 Member States for multilateral trade negotiations;
  • promoting the visibility and understanding of the European Union's trade policy through contacts, information activities and networking with other diplomatic missions and Geneva-based international organisations, bodies and agencies.

The Mission in Geneva does not cover the bilateral relations with Switzerland. This is the role of the Delegation of the European Union in Bern, that can also answer visa-related enquiries.