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Bilateral relations between Switzerland and the Slovak Republic
Relations between Switzerland and Slovakia are problem-free and close, especially in the area of civil society: after the Prague Spring (1968), around 10,000 Czechoslovak refugees found asylum in Switzerland.
During the transition phase in the 1990s, Slovakia was a priority country for Swiss aid to the countries of the former East Bloc. The Confederation supported a series of projects with a total of CHF 50 million. The two countries are continuing their cooperation in the area of the environment and of multilateral cooperation within international bodies.
In general terms, trade between Switzerland and Slovakia is developing satisfactorily. Compared with the previous year, in 2012 imports from Slovakia rose by 31% to reach CHF 872 million. Swiss exports stood at CHF 446 million, down 10% over the previous year. Capital stock of Swiss investments at the end of 2011 amounted to EUR 585 million, which corresponds to approximately 1.5% of total investments in Slovakia.
Scholars and artists from Slovakia can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Slovakia is a member of the European Union (EU) if and is one of the beneficiaries of the Swiss contribution to the reduction of social and economic disparities in the enlarged EU. A total of CHF 67 million was committed in June 2012 to 23 projects. More than 40% of these funds are earmarked for peripheral and structurally weak areas in the east of Slovakia.
At the end of 2012, there were 312 Swiss nationals living in Slovakia.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia went their separate ways in 1992. At the beginning of 1993, Switzerland recognised and established diplomatic relations with the two new states. It has had an embassy in Bratislava since 1999.