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1,000 microcredits – 2,000 ways of getting people out of unemployment

The Swiss ambassador (left) and the chairman of the board of ALTUM cutting the red ribbon to inaugurate the new kitchen on 16 October 2014.

20.11.2014 — Article EB

On 16 October 2014 the Swiss ambassador and the chairman of the board of ALTUM (the State Joint Stock Company Latvian Development Financial Institution, previously Hipotēku Banka) paid a celebratory visit to the POGA kindergarten – the recipient of their 1,000th microcredit. The Swiss-Latvian microcredit programme makes it easier for small businesses and self-employed people to get access to loans. The programme has clearly outstripped its initial aim of making 650 credits available for the creation of 900 jobs.


The President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Burkhalter, meets the Maltese Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr George W. Vella

04.11.2014 — Press release EDA
The President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) met the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Malta on Tuesday for an official working visit at the Watteville House in Bern. The meeting was an opportunity to take stock of various international and multilateral issues and of the development of bilateral relations between Switzerland and Malta. A memorandum of understanding was signed.


Czech Republic: Selected improvements to the tram system in Ostrava

14.10.2014 — Article EB
On 26 September 2014, a project was inaugurated in Ostrava – the third-largest city in the Czech Republic – in which selected improvements were made to the city's tram network to enhance the service and level of comfort of public transport. The project was financed by the Swiss contribution to the enlarged European Union. This support made it possible to improve the management of the tram lines and passenger safety.


President of the Swiss Confederation Didier Burkhalter receives Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev

13.10.2014 — Press release EDA
The President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Bukhalter, received the President of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, on Monday 13 October 2014 during the latter’s official visit to Switzerland. Talks focused on relations and cooperation between Switzerland and Bulgaria, notably in the field of vocational education and training. The meeting, also attended by Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga, included discussions on Swiss policy on Europe, Switzerland's contribution to EU enlargement and various topical international issues, especially those related to the OSCE, which Switzerland is chairing in 2014.


21 partnership projects nearing completion

Philippe Nendaz with Agata Stwora, head teacher of the Polish special needs school in Łodygowice.

20.08.2014 — Article EB

In summer 2014 the majority of the 21 Swiss-Polish partnership projects will come to a close. An evaluation of 16 Swiss project partners has concluded that the majority of the projects were carried out successfully and that the exchange of experience and knowledge was enriching for both sides.


Breath-taking and waterproof: environmental monitoring in Estonia

30.07.2014 — Local news EB

Thanks to a Swiss contribution totalling CHF 8.5 million, Estonian laboratories and environmental monitoring stations are able to procure modern equipment and train their staff. During project visits, Estonian experts demonstrated their ability to reliably monitor air and water quality across large areas with their new equipment.


Switzerland promotes tourism in Slovakia

03.07.2014 — Article EB

The high point of a regional development project in Slovakia was the official opening of a tourist information centre on 28 June 2014. The centre is located in the Slovak Paradise (Slovenský raj) National Park, which attracts some 700,000 visitors every year.  The aim of the project is to promote tourism in this high potential region and to create jobs and opportunities for the local people.


Swiss heat pumps for the Julian Alps

06.06.2014 — Press release EB

Switzerland is working in Slovenia within the framework of its enlargement contribution on two infrastructure projects in the field of energy. The realisation of such projects has led on the one hand to the building of new infrastructure – for example new solar panels, heat pumps or biomass boilers – and on the other to the creation of one single platform through which Swiss firms can enter the Slovenian market and forge contacts with local firms more easily. Switzerland is thus actively promoting the transfer of knowledge in the area of energy efficiency and fostering greater cooperation between Swiss and Slovenian project partners.


Federal Council submits to Parliament dispatch on enlargement contribution to Croatia

28.05.2014 — Press release EDA
The Federal Council has submitted to Parliament its dispatch on the approval of a framework credit for an enlargement contribution of CHF 45 million to Croatia. Switzerland's commitment in Croatia is in keeping with the policy it has pursued in recent years with regard to the countries of Eastern Europe to support them in their modernisation efforts. This policy is in Switzerland's economic interests, and not only strengthens relations with these countries, but also helps to create jobs. The Federal Council had announced the framework credit on 30 April 2014, when a corresponding addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the EU was adopted. Parliament has yet to approve the contribution. The money should then be committed to specific projects in Croatia by the end of May 2017.


The Federal Council takes steps to re-launch discussions with the EU on Switzerland’s participation in EU programmes and market access

30.04.2014 — Press release EDA
The Federal Council wishes to re-launch negotiations and discussions on Switzerland’s participation in framework programmes and market access. To that end it approved a declaration envisaging a number of measures. These include a solution to the admission under quotas of Croatian citizens to the Swiss labour market. In addition, the Federal Council confirmed the enlargement contribution for Croatia.


CHF 190 million for a sustainable energy policy

18.03.2014 — Article EB
Switzerland is supporting a sustainable energy policy in six partner countries with around CHF 190 million from its enlargement contribution. In Estonia, for example, the contribution is being used to make the design of three preschools and a home for the elderly more energy efficient. Four Estonian communities showcased their building projects on 14 March 2014. In February 2014, Switzerland approved a project to institutionalise the energy city label in Romania.


Regional development in Poland creates jobs

28.02.2014 — Article EB

Local initiatives are strengthening economically weak regions in the new EU member states and creating employment. An interim evaluation of ten regional development projects in Poland shows that the implementation of the projects is largely going according to plan and already producing results.

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