Swiss Contribution Office Bratislava

Vocational school students baking pastries
Vocational education and training is a priority theme of the second Swiss contribution. © SDC

Swiss contribution

Since 2007, Switzerland has participated in various projects designed to reduce economic and social disparities in the EU.

First Swiss contribution

Between 2007 and 2017, Switzerland contributed CHF 63.5 million to the successful implementation of 21 projects in Slovakia.

The contribution to the Slovak Republic was a part of an overall Swiss contribution of CHF 1.302 billion to the reduction of economic and social disparities in the enlarged European Union. The contribution for Slovakia was based on the Swiss-Slovak framework agreement of 20 December 2007, which had set priorities concerning areas of activity and determined procedures.

The projects were strategically focused on safety, stability and reform support, environment protection and infrastructure as well as on promoting vocational education and training in an effort to reduce youth unemployment and foster the social inclusion of young people from marginalized Roma communities.

3 projects contributed to economic growth and enhanced employment. 4 projects significantly contributed to the personal development of children and young people with disabilities. 8 projects were aimed at protection of the environment. International academic and scientific cooperation was fostered through the SCIEX scholarship fund with 40 supported projects of young Slovak researchers. Significant resources were allocated through the Block Grant to finance further 40 projects especially in the area of increasing the quality and improvement of access to social services, protection of the environment and sustainable regional development.

Second Swiss contribution to selected EU member states

The second contribution matches the value of the enlargement contribution, i.e. CHF 1.302 billion, or an average of CHF 130 million a year over a ten-year period. The Swiss Parliament approved the dispatch for second contribution in December 2019. Two Federal Offices, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) are jointly responsible for implementation with partner countries.

Switzerland has earmarked CHF 1.102 billion for the 13 EU Member States that have joined the EU since 2004, namely Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia (EU-13). This part of the overall contribution is intended to strengthen cohesion, with a particular focus on the priority areas of vocational education and training, research and innovation, welfare and healthcare systems, public safety, civic engagement and transparency, environmental and climate protection and SME financing, in line with the priorities set by the partner countries and Switzerland. Funding commitments in these areas must be made by 3 December 2024.

CHF 200 million will be used for migration-related measures in countries which are particularly affected by migration movements. The contribution can therefore also benefit EU member states outside the EU-13, and will be used to support measures to improve the management of migratory movements.

On June 30, 2022 Switzerland and the EU signed in Brussels a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the second Swiss contribution to selected EU member states. The MoU sets out the key parameters of the second Swiss contribution, such as the amount of the contribution, its distribution among the partner countries, thematic priorities and principles for cooperation and implementation.

The MoU provides the framework to conclude bilateral framework agreements which define, among other aspects, the thematic priorities for each country. With most countries of the EU-13, these framework have been negotiated already and will be signed until the end of 2022.

In Slovakia, the Ministry of Investments, Regional Development and Informatization of the Slovak Republic has the authority to administer the funds of the Second Swiss Contribution, through its National Coordination Unit. The Swiss Contribution Office (SCO), located at the Embassy of Switzerland in Bratislava will work closely with the NCU and monitor the implementation of the programs in Slovakia.