Improving public safety and security

Members of the fire and rescue corps exercising on a dump for construction waste materials in Slovakia
Training and the procurement of equipment help Slovakian search and rescue teams to deal more effectively with natural disasters and other emergencies. © SDC

CHF 116 million of the enlargement contribution flows into projects for improving public safety in the partner countries.

These include modernising the legal system in Latvia, increasing protection along the outer border of the Schengen area in Poland, measures for handling natural disasters and emergencies in Hungary and fighting corruption and organised crime in various countries. Improving public safety in the partner countries is also in Switzerland's own interest as the projects also contribute toward fighting cross-border crime.


Results in target area Improving public safety and security. © SECO/SDC

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News (13)

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Parliamentary delegation visits projects in Hungary

Delegation with mobile protection dam

04.05.2016 – Article

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.  

Enhanced security at Hungarian courts

State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen in front of a walk-through metal detector

18.08.2015 – Article

Switzerland is improving security at Hungarian courts all over the country with a contribution of CHF 4.2 million. Security checks at the entrances to courthouses are now state of the art, with 104 new walk-through metal detectors and 45 X-ray scanners. Innovative IT solutions now also allow secure and reliable electronic access to court files and central databases.

Safe streets in Poland thanks to Swiss expertise

A police officer checks a driver's licence

10.04.2015 – Article

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

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.

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

17.12.2014 – Media release
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

A man standing in front of a machine using a remote control.

08.12.2014 – Media release
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).

Official working visit of Romanian foreign minister Titus Corlățean in Bern

07.11.2013 – Media release
Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), has received his Romanian counterpart, Foreign Minister Titus Corlățean, for a working dinner in Bern. Topics under discussion included cooperation between the two countries in the field of policing and experiences with the enlargement contribution.

Promotion of community service work as an alternative to imprisonment in Romania

13.09.2012 – Article

As part of its enlargement contribution to Romania, Switzerland supports Community Service Workshops as an alternative to imprisonment. This integrative and low-cost form of punishment is provided in four workshops. It provides Romanian judges with an alternative to short prison terms. The system is based on a model from Zürich that has been running successfully in Switzerland since 1998. Persons sentenced to short prison terms can keep their job and remain in their familiar environment. They do not need to be reintegrated into society because they do not go to prison at all. It also seems that the rate of recidivism is lower.

Regional Development and Modernization of the Justice System in the Czech Republic

Elderly woman

09.03.2012 – Article

Within the scope of the Swiss Enlargement Contribution to the Reduction of the Economic and Social Disparities in the enlarged European Union, a total of 10 projects for old-age-care homes have been granted funding totalling close to CHF 15 million. The enlargement contribution is also supporting two projects aimed at the modernization of the justice system. One of the projects is concerned with the successful reintegration of delinquents. In October 2011, Peter Künzle, a journalist at Swissinfo, paid a visit to the senior citizens home in Vsetin before going to Prague to get an idea for himself as to why it is so crucial for criminal offenders to be successfully reintegrated. The articles can be found below under the corresponding links.

Two Swiss drug experts visit Estonia

Specialist conference on drug policy  in Tallinn

28.09.2010 – Article

From 13 to 15 September 2010, Swiss drug specialists from the fields of research, medicine, psychiatry and the penal system visited Estonia. The visit was accompanied and coordinated by the Estonian Ministry of Finance, the Swiss Enlargement Contribution Office in Riga, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Federal Office of Health (FOH).

Switzerland supports Hungary’s fight against the serious threat of floods

Workers secure the banks of the River Tisza against flooding.

08.06.2010 – Media release

Hungary is getting prepared to face a major risk of flooding in the north of the country. The Danube and the Tisza are threatening to overflow their banks towards the middle of next week. To cope with this threat, the Hungarian government has requested the aid of its European partners. Switzerland will deliver 500,000 bags of sand and dispatch to the site three experts from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit.

Modernisation of the Latvian Judicial System

26.06.2009 – Article

As part of its contribution to EU enlargement, Switzerland has pledged CHF 8 million to co-fund a project aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of Latvia’s judicial system. The joint project agreement was signed by the two countries on 25 June 2009.

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