Promoting economic growth and improving working conditions
Switzerland supports projects with CHF 333 million in its partner countries. They support economic growth and improve working conditions. This is also in Switzerland's interest as the Swiss export industry profits from developing the Eastern European growth markets and the increasing spending power in the partner countries.
The projects are extremely varied and range from supporting structurally weak regions in South-East Poland and the implementation of a dual vocational training system in Slovakia to scholarships for young scientists from the new EU member states. The enlargement contribution also finances small company loans and thus contributes to the creation and preservation of numerous jobs. It also strengthens companies' social responsibility and tourism in structurally weak regions and improves the application of international financial reporting and auditing standards, which increases investors' willingness to invest and helps to prevent financial crises.
With the launch of a pilot phase in Poland and the Czech Republic, the implementation of the scholarship programme within the scope of the Swiss enlargement contribution has gotten underway. The beneficiaries of this CHF 30 million-endowed programme are young and promising research scientists from the Central and Eastern European EU-Member States.
13.05.2009 Local news
Switzerland is helping to facilitate access to long-term financing for SMEs in Poland. On 13 May, the Federal Council decided to make CHF 53 million from the enlargement contribution fund available for venture capital investments with a view to enabling job creation in structurally weak regions.
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Promoting renewable energy, creating employment and strengthening civil society: the final review of Switzerland's enlargement contribution summarises the results of the Swiss-backed projects.
Information on the results achieved in the last three remaining country programmes that are still under way, e.g. mine clearance in Croatia, the promotion of SMEs in Romania and decommissioned trams from Basel improving Bulgaria's public transport system. The report also briefly explains the background to the second Swiss contribution to selected EU member countries.
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.
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.
The economic situation in structurally weak regions has been improved through promoting tourism and marketing regional products.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs present an interim balance sheet on the first five years since the approval of the Enlargement Contribution to the new 10 EU-Member States. The projects are to be implemented within another five year period, i.e., by 2017.