Parliamentary delegation visits projects in Hungary

Article, 04.05.2016

A delegation of Swiss MPs visited two projects from the Swiss-Hungarian cooperation programme in April 2016. Representatives from the Hungarian authorities showed their visitors how they use the measurement and analysis equipment and the protection dams co-financed by Switzerland.  

Delegation with mobile protection dam
The parliamentary delegation gets an insight into how the mobile flood protection dams supplied by a Swiss company are used. © SECO/SDC

The parliamentary delegation led by the president of the Swiss National Council, Christa Markwalder, stayed in Hungary from 11 to 15 April. They were able to see for themselves how the CHF 131 million Switzerland provides for 39 projects in Hungary is well invested.

Better monitoring of landfills and emissions

Switzerland is providing CHF 5 million for modern measurement and analysis equipment to help monitor landfills and emissions in the greater Budapest area. This new equipment is helping Hungary to collect more reliable environmental data in line with EU regulations. This in turn improves living conditions for around four million people. The inspectorate responsible for the monitoring showed the delegation the new mobile high-tech equipment they use to measure air quality and radioactivity as an example.

Flood protection along the Tisza

A number of projects amounting to approximately CHF 6.7 million are helping to improve flood protection in the Tisza river catchment area. Of all the European countries, Hungary suffers from flooding the most because of its geographical positioning.

Besides helping the Hungarian authorities to develop contingency plans and forecasting models, Switzerland has funded 12.5 km of mobile protection dams worth CHF 2.3 million which are supplied by a leading Swiss company in this field. Officers in charge of flood prevention showed the delegation how they can quickly inflate the mobile dams, fill them with water, join them together and place them along the river bank. This is particularly important against flash floods. The dams are also easy to store, transport and reuse in an environmentally sound way. This reduces the need for sandbags, which have to be disposed of as hazardous waste.