Replenishment of Funds and Continuation of Switzerland’s traditional Aid to Eastern Europe

Bern, Press release, 01.09.2010

The Federal Council has decided to request increased funds in order to continue Switzerland’s traditional aid to Eastern Europe by approving a relevant dispatch to parliament at today’s Federal Council meeting. The Federal Council requests that parliament increase the CHF 730 million in funds granted in the framework credit approved in June 2007 by CHF 290 million. This replenishment would ensure the continuation of assistance to the countries of South-Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union up until the end of 2012.

The request for the replenishment and extension of the fourth credit framework for transition assistance is based on the Law on Assistance to Eastern Europe, approved by Swiss voters in late 2006. This law provides the foundation for Switzerland’s technical and financial cooperation with the states of South-Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, as well as for the Enlargement Contribution for the reduction of the economic and social disparities in the enlarged EU.

By mid-year 2001, the totality of funds committed within the current fourth framework credit will have been invested in development projects, whereas those foreseen within the replenishment are meant to ensure Switzerland’s activities in support of transition can continue until the end of 2012. This increase in funds is fully compatible with the revised Ordinance on the Federal Budget of 2008. The primary objective of Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe, whose orientation remains unchanged, is to support transition to democratic and pluralist systems, and to strengthen economic development steered by free-market principles, social justice, and respect for the environment.

The parliamentary debates on the replenishment and continuation of the framework credit will most likely take place in the 2010 winter session and the spring session of 011. Implementation of Switzerland’s cooperation with Eastern Europe is the task of the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development SDC and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO.

Switzerland has been engaged in cooperation with Eastern Europe since 1989. The high quality of the assistance and the reliability of Switzerland as a partner are highly appreciated, and much good has been accomplished. Switzerland fosters the transfer of knowledge, contributes to enhancing the level of training, accelerates the modernization of out-dated infrastructure with the application of environmentally friendly technologies, and provides important stimuli to the economy and to the social development of the partner countries. Switzerland’s commitment creates durable relations and also improves the access of Swiss enterprises to Eastern European markets.

For further information, please contact:

Hubert Eisele, Deputy Head of Department for Cooperation with Eastern Europe at SDC Tel. +41 31 322 44 03, hubert.eisele@deza.admin.ch 

Jean-Luc Bernasconi, Head Coordination of Operations and Deputy Head of Economic Cooperation and Development at SECO, Tel. +41 31 324 08 18, jean-luc.bernasconi@seco.admin.ch

 

 


Further information:

Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe


Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: (+41) 031 322 31 53
Fax: (+41) 031 324 90 47
E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Publisher:

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research