Enlargement contributions for Bulgaria and Romania - Political declaration of intent signed

Web article, 25.06.2008

Switzerland, along with the EU, signed the political declaration of intent in Brussels on Wednesday to support the two newest EU member states, Bulgaria and Romania. In it Switzerland set its enlargement contribution for the two states at CHF 257 million. This declaration in the form of an addendum to the existing memorandum of understanding has been made with a reservation pending approval of the contribution by the Swiss Parliament.

Train and landscape
The Mou sets the general modalities of Switzerland’s enlargement contributions to Bulgaria and Romania: Commitments for specific projects totaling CHF 257 million in scope should be adopted over five years. © SECO/DEZA

Bulgaria will receive about 30% (CHF 76 million) and Romania about 70% (CHF 181 million) of the total amount. Switzerland thus orients itself according to the distribution scale of the other EFTA states, which have divided their contributions in the same ratio. At the same time, this allows Switzerland to continue the earlier transition aid it provided to these two countries at a comparable level.

The declaration of intent has the legal form of an addendum to the existing memorandum of understanding (MoU), which sets the general modalities of Switzerland’s enlargement con-tributions to the 10 EU states that joined in 2004. These general regulations – governing, for example, the list of potential fields of activity for projects and the implementation procedures – also apply to the enlargement contributions to Bulgaria and Romania.

By supporting Bulgaria and Romania, Switzerland makes a further contribution to reducing economic and social disparities in Europe. Commitments for specific projects totalling CHF 257 million in scope should be adopted over five years. Each project must be approved by Switzerland. Payments will be made in instalments stretching over roughly 10 years. The contribution will be completely covered within the general federal budget.

In a follow-up step, the Swiss Parliament will decide on the enlargement contribution to Romania and Bulgaria in the form of framework credit. Finally, Switzerland will conclude bilateral framework agreements with both Bulgaria and Romania that sets country-specific thematic priorities and specific procedures for cooperation.

The head of the Swiss Permanent Mission to the EU, Jacques de Watteville, was signed the addendum on behalf of Switzerland, while Igor Sencar, the permanent representative of Slo-venia, which currently occupies the EU presidency, will sign for the EU.