Strengthening civil society

Group effort: young people painting a picture
The Swiss enlargement contribution is providing CHF 105 million to finance projects to strengthen civil society, establishing this youth centre in Latvia, for example. © SDC

The Swiss enlargement contribution provides CHF 105 million for financing projects that strengthen civil society. A support fund for non-governmental organisations (NGO fund) that includes 700 small projects is financed in all partner countries, except Malta.

In the Baltic countries, all project funds have already been committed and the first projects completed. The NGO fund particularly supports social and environmental projects that support and strengthen the participation of civil society in the economic and social development of the country. Overall, one in five projects is realised with Swiss involvement. The NGOs benefit from Swiss expert knowledge by involving Swiss partners in projects. At the same time, Swiss organisations can expand their networks and improve their competences thanks to partnerships with organisations in the partner countries. In Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, the Czech Republic and Hungary, there is a partnership fund in addition to the NGO fund. A total of around 150 partnership projects are in the pipeline that support the exchange of knowledge and know-how between Swiss municipalities and institutions and the partner countries.