The popular uprisings in Egypt at the beginning of 2011 shook Egyptian society and state structures. In order to ensure that conditions were as favourable as possible for a successful transition to democracy, the Federal Council reacted rapidly and on 11 March 2011 decided to considerably increase Switzerland's activity in the medium term.
The Swiss programme for North Africa for the period 2011–2016 responds to the priorities on the ground and concentrates on three key areas of support:
- Transition towards democracy and human rights;
- Economic development and employment;
- Migration and protection.