Improving public safety and security
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.
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Annual Report 2013 on the Swiss Enlargement Contribution
Promoting public safety in rural communities of Romania
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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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