Switzerland shows one of the lowest rates of interregional disparities in OECD countries. However, many cohesion-favouring policies, such as support for agriculture, public service provision, public procurement and investment, and fiscal equalisation, have come under strain in the last decade. Moreover, new territorial issues have emerged, such as an increasing imbalance within metropolitan areas and the modernisation of traditional industries.
The review thus points to the need to redesign regional policy. The ongoing reform of fiscal federalism, supposed to foster subnational autonomy and to reduce disparities more effectively, is an important step toward balanced regional development. The review emphasises the need to extend regional policy to the entire country, and to link it more strongly to spatial planning, in order to ensure that all regions benefit from the advantages of liberalisation and globalisation.