Reducing disparities in the EU

Article, 18.03.2019

The Federal Council wants to help new EU member states catch up in economic and social terms with another CHF 1.302 billion contribution. The Council of States approves the contribution in the winter session with reservations.

Two border guards check a train.
CHF 200 million has been earmarked for migration-related measures to help deal with the challenges being faced by the whole of the EU. © SDC

On 28 September 2018 the Federal Council decided to put forward to Parliament a proposal for a second Swiss contribution to certain EU member states amounting to CHF 1.302 billion over a period of ten years. The Council of States approved a second contribution by a large majority on 29th November. However, the commitments should only be made if the EU does not take or maintain any discriminatory measures against Switzerland. The bulk of the contribution (CHF 1.102 billion) is for projects that help the 13 countries that joined the EU in 2004 to catch up in economic and social terms, with a particular focus on vocational education and training (VET). CHF 200 million has been earmarked for migration-related measures to help deal with the challenges being faced by the whole of the EU. For these future projects, Switzerland can build on its previous experience with the roughly 300 projects implemented under the enlargement contribution from 2007 on. A recently published article in "Die Volkswirtschaft" gives an overview of the key figures of the new contribution.