The SDC and SECO Annual Conference on Swiss Cooperation with Eastern Europe pointed out possible solutions and approaches to providing access to water in Eastern Europe and cast light on the role Switzerland is playing in this context. The Conference was held in Neuchatel on 25 November 2011.
Commonwealth of Independent States CIS
Promoting political and economic stability
The collapse of the Soviet Union destroyed an extensive, integrated economic structure. Administrative borders became national frontiers, leading to a slow-down or even a rupture in the flow of social and economic contacts. The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the building of national identities also gave rise, in certain countries, to internal and even international conflicts. The end result was economic stagnation, a partial disintegration of the production system, a process of de-industrialization, a dramatic leap in the rate of unemployment, rising poverty, and in certain contexts a withdrawal into one’s own identity and rejection of others. While a small elite profited from the privatization process, the majority of the population experienced a considerable decline in their standard of living. Moreover, the cutbacks in the public services in the key sectors of healthcare, education, and water made the situation even worse. Coupled with other crisis factors, this led to a fall in demographic decline among the populations of the Ex-USSR.
Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have been rebuilding themselves politically, economically and socially. SDC is supporting the
efforts of several countries in this region to introduce a social market economy and to ensure long-term political and economic stability.
In the short term, programmes for cooperation with Eastern Europe and the CIS aim at cushioning the social hardships triggered by this transition. A long-term goal is a new division of powers between the State, the private sector and civil society as a basis for balanced economic and social development. Strengthening State and civil-society institutions is an integral part of all projects. SDC coordinates its work with that of other donor countries, multilateral organizations and development banks.
Here, you will find more publications, links, documents and articles about Swiss development cooperation and humanitarian aid in this region.