Bulgaria – A partner country for Switzerland’s contribution to EU enlargement

The Swiss contribution to Bulgaria amounts to CHF 76 million. Between now and 2019, 15 projects designed to reduce economic and social disparities in Bulgaria are implemented. A Swiss Contribution Office (SCO) has been established in Sofia for the purpose of working closely on project implementation with the National Coordination Unit within the Ministry of Finance.

© 2014 Natural Earth
2014 Natural Earth

Projects in Bulgaria

Switzerland supports 15 projects in Bulgaria with its EU enlargement contribution

Project news

News, highlights and information on the projects in Bulgaria

Results in Bulgaria

Switzerland uses its enlargement contribution to promote vocational education and training in an effort to reduce youth unemployment, enable care for the elderly following the Swiss Spitex model and ensure that old pesticides are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way

Bilateral Framework Agreement with Bulgaria

Switzerland has concluded a bilateral framework agreement with Bulgaria. Switzerland decides in consultation with Bulgaria and independently of the EU which projects it will support

Thematic Funds in Bulgaria

In Bulgaria the SDC is working with thematic funds in the areas of public security, the participation of civil society and integration of the Roma and other minorities

Documents (33)

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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.



Swiss Enlargement Contribution Annual Report 2015

The annual report contains an overview of concrete results and the status of project implementation. Over 500 doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers from the new EU member states received scholarships in 2015 to do research in Switzerland. Bulgaria introduced legislation that provides for outpatient care based on the Swiss Spitex model, and Slovenia halved the heating and electricity bills of schools through energy efficiency renovations and renewable energies.



Evaluation Report on the Swiss Contribution 2015: Key points in brief

An independent evaluation has confirmed the federal authorities have achieved good results in implementing Switzerland’s enlargement contribution to the new EU member states. This report summarises the key findings of the evaluation and outlines the progress and achievements of the Swiss contribution.








The Swiss Enlargement Contribution Interim report for the end of the commitment period in Bulgaria and Romania 2009–2014




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News (23)

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One billion well invested

A man sitting in front of a remediation well at an industrial port

05.06.2018 – Article
The ten countries that joined the EU in 2004 have completed their projects under the enlargement contribution. 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.


Sustainable integration of Roma through local institutions

Four Roma children pose for the camera.

27.04.2018 – Article
10% of the Bulgarian population is Roma, but they are almost invisible in public live and are rarely represented in institutions. Most live in deprived urban areas and are socially isolated. Their children are often not in school because there is none nearby. Those who do attend school encounter major difficulties related to discrimination and to learning a new language, and do not complete their education. Access to basic healthcare is also problematic, leading to epidemics and other health issues.


Consultation on a second Swiss contribution

Young man in a Slovakian vocational school.

28.03.2018 –
At its meeting on 28 March 2018, the Federal Council decided to initiate the consultation procedure on a second Swiss contribution to selected EU member states. With this contribution, Switzerland aims to continue to contribute to the reduction of economic and social disparities in the EU member states. Last year, the Federal Council set two priorities for this contribution: vocational education and training and migration.


Linking regional development and nature protection

Four jars containing different kinds of preserves.

20.02.2018 – Article
Creating jobs and prospects through environmental protection: Switzerland supported this innovative approach in Bulgaria. The project entitled ‘Linking Nature, Protection and Sustainable Rural Development’ promoted, among other things, organic farming methods, regional products and ecotourism in the poorest region of the EU.


Dual education certificate opens career doors for young people in Bulgaria

Three students, two boys and a girl, who holds a certificate, stand in front of their school.

27.11.2017 – Article

Switzerland supports Bulgaria in implementing a dual vocational education and training system. Based on the close collaboration of private companies, government representatives and vocational schools, the project aims to establish a system that is based on the Swiss model and simultaneously fits the Bulgarian context. In 2017, the first graduates received their diplomas.  


Focus on European policy and bilateral issues during presidential visit to Bulgaria

02.11.2017 – Media release
On Thursday, 2 November, President Doris Leuthard, held the now traditional talks with the future EU Council presidency. The themes addressed during the discussions with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, Prime Minister Bojko Borissov and further members of the government included European policy, as well as bilateral and international issues.


Switzerland supports the victims of human trafficking

18.10.2016 – Article
Europe has appealed for international action against trafficking in humans on 18 October every year since 2007. Switzerland is also committed to the fight against human trafficking through its enlargement contribution. It is supporting Bulgaria and Romania with their efforts aimed at prevention, victim protection, reintegration and improving criminal prosecution.


Basel Trams for Sofia

Old tram in the Bulgarian capital Sofia

10.12.2015 – Article

Most of the trams in the Bulgarian capital Sofia date back to Soviet times and so need replacing. As Basel is renewing its fleet of trams, the Basel transport operators have 28 modern and well maintained trams that are no longer needed. The cost of sending these trams to Bulgaria is being met by the enlargement contribution.


Sciex research programme comes to an end

a female researcher in a laboratory

28.09.2015 – Article

The closing ceremony of the Sciex scholarship programme was held on 25 September 2015. Thanks to this programme, more than 500 doctoral and post-doctoral students could visit Switzerland for a limited period to conduct and expand their research. 


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

17.12.2014 – Media 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.


Swiss involvement in Bulgaria and Romania: a 5-year review

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

08.12.2014 – Article

In December 2014, Switzerland will end the first phase of support for Bulgaria and Romania as part of its enlargement contribution to the new EU member states. In the period from 2009 to 2014 clear objectives for these two states were defined. To achieve them, Switzerland selected 28 specific projects and 13 thematic funds comprising numerous individual projects. All of these projects are due to be implemented by 2019. The SDC and State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) are responsible for implementing this support on behalf of Switzerland.


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 – Media 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).

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Videos (3)

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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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