Successful energy-efficient rehabilitation of police buildings in Vas County

Local news, 27.11.2015

The festive handover ceremony of renovated buildings of the Vas County Police Headquarters financed by the Swiss Contribution was held in Szombathely on 27 November 2015.

Dr. János Tiborcz, Commissioner of the Vas County Police gave a ceremonial speech at the renovated main building of the Vas County Police Headquarters

After the successful completion of the construction works in Szombathely, Körmend and Sárvár about 400 police employees and visitors have taken possession of police buildings with a fresh atmosphere, improved conditions and a better sense of security.  New windows and doors, thermal insulations of the façades and roofs, new electric, heating and hot water systems, as well as modern fire alarm systems have been installed. Furthermore, connected to the project, the historic building of the Vas County Police Headquarters has regained its original elegance.

This Security Project managed by the Ministry of Interior aims at the energy-efficient rehabilitation of buildings of the Office of Immigration and Nationality as well as of the Police. It is supported by the Swiss Contribution with an amount of 5.8 million Swiss francs, whilst Hungary provides 15% of the project costs. Thanks to this support, eight buildings have so far been renovated across the country.

These buildings now have new and cost-effective heating, water, sewage, and electrical systems, meeting EU energy efficiency requirements and standards. Modern fire-fighting systems to improve personal and material safety have been installed, and there is an increased use of renewable energy. The Project has thus contributed to improving the working conditions of policewomen and men as well as the living conditions of immigrants and asylum seekers.

Károly Papp, Chief Commissioner of the National Police, Jean-François Paroz, Ambassador of Switzerland to Hungary, Dr Csaba Hende Member of Parliament and high representatives of the Police and the Ministry attended and spoke at the ceremony. In his address, Ambassador Paroz pointed out the significance of the Project within the Swiss-Hungarian Cooperation Programme and was pleased to note that the initial objectives of this rehabilitation project have been fully achieved.

Bern, Press releases, 05.11.2015

The 31 member countries accepted today Switzerland's candidacy for the chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) in 2017. The Federal Council had supported this candidacy on the proposal of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). During its chairmanship in 2017, the FDFA will continue to work closely on this issue with the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education and with organisations that are active in Switzerland in promoting human rights.

The Chair of IHRA under the Hungarian Chairmanship, Minister of State Szabolcs Takács, with the Ambassador of Switzerland to Hungary, Jean-François Paroz, and the head of the Swiss Delegation to the Plenary Meeting of IHRA in Debrecen, François Wisard

At a plenary meeting in Debrecen, Hungary, the representatives of the 31 member countries of the IHRA accepted Switzerland's candidacy to chair the organisation in 2017. Switzerland, which has been an IHRA member since 2004, will take over the chairmanship from Romania. The head of the Swiss delegation, Ambassador Benno Bättig, secretary-general of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), will take on the position of IHRA Chair in 2017.

The IHRA aims to promote, especially in its member countries, historical research and education about the Holocaust and to preserve the memory of victims through commemorations and memorials. The IHRA is an intergovernmental organisation that works closely with institutional partners such as the UN, the Council of Europe, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, and UNESCO.

Following an FDFA proposal approved by the Federal Council on 14 October 2015, Switzerland will organise two IHRA plenary meetings in 2017, the first in Geneva and the second in Bern. Switzerland looks forward to welcoming some 200 IHRA delegates to strengthen our shared commitment against genocide, ethnic cleansing, racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia, as set out in the IHRA charter (Stockholm Declaration). Furthermore, at the beginning of 2016, the University of Teacher Education Lucerne will host an international IHRA research conference on education about the Holocaust.

Switzerland is very active in the IHRA's priority areas. In 2003, the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education designated 27 January, the date of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, as Holocaust Remembrance Day in Swiss schools. On this day, various activities are traditionally organised in several cantons, and the President of the Swiss Confederation delivers a speech. In addition, the FDFA actively supported the publication of previously unpublished memoirs by Holocaust survivors which were handed over to the President of the Confederation in January of this year.

When Switzerland joined the IHRA, the FDFA set up an advisory group composed of key federal, cantonal and non-governmental actors that will be involved in shaping and promoting Switzerland's future chairmanship.

Further information:

Stories and faces of holocaust survivors
International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs