Promoting economic growth and improving working conditions

Woman on a farm in Latvia
Over 1,000 microcredits have been allocated in Latvia, enabling over 2,500 jobs to be preserved or newly created. © SECO

Switzerland supports projects with CHF 333 million in its partner countries. They support economic growth and improve working conditions. This is also in Switzerland's interest as the Swiss export industry profits from developing the Eastern European growth markets and the increasing spending power in the partner countries.

The projects are extremely varied and range from supporting structurally weak regions in South-East Poland and the implementation of a dual vocational training system in Slovakia to scholarships for young scientists from the new EU member states. The enlargement contribution also finances small company loans and thus contributes to the creation and preservation of numerous jobs. It also strengthens companies' social responsibility and tourism in structurally weak regions and improves the application of international financial reporting and auditing standards, which increases investors' willingness to invest and helps to prevent financial crises.

Results

Documents (12)

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Switzerland's contribution to the enlarged EU: 2018 Annual Report

Information on the results achieved in the last three remaining country programmes that are still under way, e.g. mine clearance in Croatia, the promotion of SMEs in Romania and decommissioned trams from Basel improving Bulgaria's public transport system. The report also briefly explains the background to the second Swiss contribution to selected EU member countries.



Swiss Enlargement Contribution: Annual Report 2017

The ten countries that joined the EU in 2004 have completed their projects under the enlargement contribu-tion. SECO and the SDC have taken stock of the last decade and published the results in their 2017 annual report. The projects have made a significant contribution to reducing economic and social disparities in Europe. Switzerland was also able to use its expertise to make a meaningful contribution to a number of projects.




Swiss Enlargement Contribution: Annual Report 2016

The report shows the results and the state of progress, e.g. in the dual vocational training programme in Slovakia, the fight against human trafficking in Bulgaria and Romania, the rehabilitation of a port in Latvia, and a venture capital fund in Hungary. In addition, it covers the national programmes which have come to a close in Estonia and Slovenia and presents the new programme in Croatia.



The Swiss Enlargement Contribution

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs present an interim balance sheet on the first five years since the approval of the Enlargement Contribution to the new 10 EU-Member States. The projects are to be implemented within another five year period, i.e., by 2017.



Switzerland supports a dual vocational education and training system geared to the labour market in Slovakia



Projects promoting social inclusion of the Roma people and other disadvantaged groups in four EU member states







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News (37)

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Swiss support helps secure jobs in Romania

A man making a cello

06.01.2016 – Article

In the town of Reghin in the north-west of Romania, the Moldovan family runs a small business making musical instruments. Thanks to a microcredit provided by Switzerland, they have been able to purchase two new wood-processing machines and a vehicle, helping to make their work more efficient, increase their income and secure jobs.


Croatian delegation studies the Swiss VET system

The Croatien minister talks to apprentices

30.10.2015 – Article

The SDC will help Croatia modernise its vocational and education and training (VET) system. The aim is to adapt courses to changing economic needs and to reduce youth unemployment. A high-ranking Croatian delegation has visited several Swiss vocational schools and companies in different industries to get a first-hand view of the Swiss dual vocational education and training system.



State Secretary in the Baltic states

State Secretary Ineichen-Fleisch with Rolands Panko from the Latvian development bank

22.05.2015 – Article

State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch travelled to the Baltic states from 18 to 22 May. Her itinerary included three projects that Switzerland is supporting through its enlargement contribution.


Young Romanian researching pain in Lausanne

Thanks to a Sciex scholarship Alexandru Deftu from Romania has been researching aspects of pain signals in the central nervous system for one year at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV).

29.01.2015 – Article

Thanks to a Sciex scholarship Alexandru Deftu from Romania has been researching aspects of pain signals in the central nervous system for one year at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV). On 17 November 2014 he presented his complex field of research at the University of Bern to other research fellows and an interested public as part of the "Sciex Science Slammer 2014" competition. In an interview he talks about his work and the difficulty of making a complex subject accessible to the general public.


Federal Council opens consultation on the continuation of the Federal Act on Cooperation with the States of Eastern Europe

17.12.2014 – Press release
The Federal Council has opened the consultation on the continuation of the Federal Act on Cooperation with the States of Eastern Europe (Eastern Europe Cooperation Act). The current act is still valid until the end of May 2017. A timely prolongation should enable the seamless continuation of cooperation with the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The consultation will last until 31 March 2015.


End of commitment period for enlargement contribution to Bulgaria and Romania

A man standing in front of a machine using a remote control.

08.12.2014 – Press release
The commitment period of the enlargement contribution for Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the EU in 2007, ended on 7 December. In all, 13 thematic funds and 28 projects totalling CHF 257 million were approved. The Swiss commitment aims to eradicate social and economic disparities in the enlarged European Union (EU).


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

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

The President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Burkhalter, and Maltese Minister for Foreign Affairs George W. Vella signing a memorandum of understanding at the Von-Wattenwyl-Haus in Bern.

04.11.2014 – Press release

Bern, 04.11.2014 - 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.


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

04.11.2014 – Press release
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.


Switzerland promotes tourism in Slovakia

Official opening of a tourist information centre

03.07.2014 – Article

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.


Regional development in Poland creates jobs

The "Alpine Carpathian Cooperation Bridge" project promotes the production and marketing of traditional products from the Podkarpackie Voivodeship.

28.02.2014 – Article

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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Videos (2)

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Publisher DEZA/SECO

The Swiss contribution in brief

Information on Switzerland’s contribution to the enlarged EU: a brief presentation including project examples.


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Publications (5)

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Switzerland's contribution to the enlarged EU: 2018 Annual Report

Information on the results achieved in the last three remaining country programmes that are still under way, e.g. mine clearance in Croatia, the promotion of SMEs in Romania and decommissioned trams from Basel improving Bulgaria's public transport system. The report also briefly explains the background to the second Swiss contribution to selected EU member countries.



Swiss Enlargement Contribution: Annual Report 2017

The ten countries that joined the EU in 2004 have completed their projects under the enlargement contribu-tion. SECO and the SDC have taken stock of the last decade and published the results in their 2017 annual report. The projects have made a significant contribution to reducing economic and social disparities in Europe. Switzerland was also able to use its expertise to make a meaningful contribution to a number of projects.



Swiss Enlargement Contribution: Annual Report 2016

The report shows the results and the state of progress, e.g. in the dual vocational training programme in Slovakia, the fight against human trafficking in Bulgaria and Romania, the rehabilitation of a port in Latvia, and a venture capital fund in Hungary. In addition, it covers the national programmes which have come to a close in Estonia and Slovenia and presents the new programme in Croatia.




The Swiss Enlargement Contribution

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs present an interim balance sheet on the first five years since the approval of the Enlargement Contribution to the new 10 EU-Member States. The projects are to be implemented within another five year period, i.e., by 2017.


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