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Mentoring programme: creating a better future for Roma children

The picture shows three girls who are smiling.

23.04.2015 — Article EB

The Roma population in Slovakia suffers from high levels of unemployment. Many of them cannot find work, as they have a lower level of education and often cannot speak Slovak. Within the framework of a mentoring programme run by the organisation ETP Slovenkso, non-Roma adults help Roma children with their career and personal development. It is a strategy that shows much promise, geared at improving the school performance of Roma children and thus enabling them to pursue a secondary education. Switzerland's enlargement contribution is supporting ETP Slovenkso.

Safe streets in Poland thanks to Swiss expertise

A police officer checks a driver's licence.

10.04.2015 — Article EB

With 86 fatalities per million inhabitants every year, Poland – together with Luxembourg – ranks second among the most dangerous countries in Europe for road safety. On 6 February 2015, the Polish parliament adopted a law to improve road safety, which was signed by the Polish president on 2 April 2015. The road safety project, part of Switzerland's enlargement contribution, provided Swiss expertise to support this process.

Training for emergencies: Partnership to identify and measure hazardous substances

Staff in white protective clothing measuring radioactivity levels.

19.03.2015 — Article EB
At the beginning of February 2015, a delegation from the Slovak national civil protection laboratory undertook specialised training at the SPIEZ LABORATORY. The purpose of this cooperation is to exchange experiences and knowledge on detecting and measuring hazardous chemical and radioactive substances. The exchange is part of a larger project to improve the Slovak rescue services which Switzerland is co-funding within the framework of its contribution to EU enlargement.

Wastewater infrastructure: a priority of the enlargement contribution to Slovakia

An excavator digging a trench for sewerage pipes.

04.02.2015 — Article EB

Funding the wastewater infrastructure is a priority of Switzerland's enlargement contribution to Slovakia. Switzerland is supporting the construction and expansion of six wastewater treatment plants. In addition, a total of 55 kilometres of sewers are being funded. Switzerland's investment contribution amounts to approximately CHF 27 million. Some 10,000 people in nine municipalities will benefit from these investments.

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 EB

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.

Conference on social services in Slovakia

A young disabled man in a social services facility in Stará L'ubovňa.

16.01.2015 — Article EB

In mid-November 2014 a conference on "social services for people with disabilities" took place in eastern Slovakia. Switzerland, as part of its enlargement contribution, provides funding to Slovakia of more than CHF 3 million to support three large and 13 small projects for children, young people and adults with disabilities. The projects presented were a basis for discussions during the conference.

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

17.12.2014 — Press release EDA
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

08.12.2014 — Press release EDA
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 EB

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

04.11.2014 — Press release EDA
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.

Czech Republic: Selected improvements to the tram system in Ostrava

14.10.2014 — Article EB
On 26 September 2014, a project was inaugurated in Ostrava – the third-largest city in the Czech Republic – in which selected improvements were made to the city's tram network to enhance the service and level of comfort of public transport. The project was financed by the Swiss contribution to the enlarged European Union. This support made it possible to improve the management of the tram lines and passenger safety.

President of the Swiss Confederation Didier Burkhalter receives Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev

13.10.2014 — Press release EDA
The President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Bukhalter, received the President of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, on Monday 13 October 2014 during the latter’s official visit to Switzerland. Talks focused on relations and cooperation between Switzerland and Bulgaria, notably in the field of vocational education and training. The meeting, also attended by Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga, included discussions on Swiss policy on Europe, Switzerland's contribution to EU enlargement and various topical international issues, especially those related to the OSCE, which Switzerland is chairing in 2014.

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