18.06.2012 - Press release
Swiss Enlargement Contribution: 210 Projects approved within the Funding-Commitment Period
Switzerland has approved a total of 210 projects in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe that became EU-Member States (EU-10) in 2004, with the aim of contributing to the reduction of the economic and social disparities in the enlarged European Union. In so doing, Switzerland has fulfilled the objective set down for the first phase of the Enlargement Contribution, namely that of concluding – within the commitment deadline of 14 June 2012 - project agreements with the EU-10 in whose financing it would participate with a total amount of CHF 1 billion. Following the five-year funding commitment period, the implementation phase is now to follow. This latter phase is scheduled to come to an end in June 2017, the deadline by which the projects agreed upon are obliged to have been concluded.
Within the scope of the Enlargement Contribution, Switzerland is autonomously supporting the development of the ten countries
that joined the EU in 2004. The overarching goal is the reduction of the economic and social disparities in the enlarged EU. In this way, Switzerland is making an important contribution to enhancing
stability and security on the European continent.
The legal basis for the Enlargement Contribution is the Eastern Europe Cooperation Act(1), approved by Swiss voters on 26 November 2006. The corresponding framework credit for the financial support of projects in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Cyprus was approved by Parliament in June 2007. The date of 14 June 2007 marked the beginning of the period during which project-funding commitments could be made.
Main results of the commitment period
Every one of the projects approved is in accordance with one of the focal themes set down by Switzerland to reduce the economic and social disparities in the enlarged EU, i.e., the promotion of the private sector and improvement of working conditions (48 projects); increasing the level of social security (36); protection of the environment (58); enhancing public safety (39); and the strengthening of civil society (12). Some 17 projects were approved for project-preparation funding and for technical assistance.
During the five-year commitment period that ended on 14 June 2012, projects were worked out and developed on the basis of the bilateral framework agreements signed with the individual States. Working in close cooperation with its partners on-site, Switzerland evaluated each of the projects. A total of 210 projects have received Switzerland’s definitive approval.
Switzerland examined each project in detail in terms of the project’s sustainability and relevance.
All told, Switzerland is supporting projects representing an overall volume of CHF 950 million. An amount of CHF 50 million is available for Switzerland to cover the administrative expenses.
With the commitment period coming to an end, the so-called implementation phase is set to follow. During this period, which will come to an end on 14 June 2017, the projects agreed upon must be fully implemented and concluded.
Contacts / Queries:
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC:
Head of the New EU-Member States Division
+ 41 (0)31 322 22 13
+ 41 (0)78 756 53 09
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO:
Head of the Swiss Enlargement Contribution / Cohesion Section
+ 41 (0)31 322 37 64
Integration Office FDFA/FDEA:
Head of Information
+ 41 (0)31 322 26 40
(1): 974.1: Federal Act on Cooperation with the Countries of Eastern Europe; Entry into force: 1 June 2007