On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union or the European Economic Area.
However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties.
In the Early Middle Ages, from the end of the 4th century, the western extent of modern-day Switzerland was part of the territory of the Kings of the Burgundians.
The Alemanni settled the Swiss plateau in the 5th century and the valleys of the Alps in the 8th century, forming Alemannia.
Nevertheless, it pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world.