Kosovo

Switzerland supports reforms in Kosovo to facilitate its European and regional integration. The main areas of cooperation relate to the promotion of democracy and economic development and improvements to infrastructure.

Map of Kosovo
© FDFA

In 2008, the Kosovar parliament declared the independence of the province under UN administration. As a new nation-state, it still faces many challenges, which delay its accession to the EU. While the institutions for a democratic framework are now in place, they are not yet used systematically. The economy remains weak and unemployment high, contributing to the country’s growing social disparities. Moreover, relations between the Albanian majority and the Serb minority are still strained, although the representation of the latter in the government is guaranteed.

Democratic governance and human security

Political and administrative decentralisation is a key to peaceful co-existence in Kosovo. Switzerland supports the development of local administrations that provide high-quality services in regard to transparency, reliability and efficiency. It also encourages active citizen and civil society engagement in policy-making processes. At the national level, the focus is on inclusive institutions as key enablers of social cohesion, especially in relation to dealing with the past and the dialogue with Serbia.

State and Economic Reforms

Advocacy and Good Governance

Economy and employment

Switzerland’s main cooperation objectives in Kosovo include a dynamic private sector that can offer attractive career prospects and good working conditions. This means developing work skills and entrepreneurship, particularly among young people. To help achieve this, Switzerland invests in vocational training that is geared to the labour market. Career guidance and job placement programmes also increase the likelihood of jobseekers finding work and of companies finding the staff they need. Furthermore, Switzerland supports Kosovo in improving its business regulations and investment framework in order to foster a more attractive investment climate. Switzerland is currently considering additional support aimed at reducing the amount of non-performing loans in Kosovo’s banking system, with the view to free blocked assets and allow their reassignment to more productive use and thus contribute to job creation.

Private Sector Development and financial services

Basic education and vocational training

Water and climate change

The main objective is to ensure access to high-quality and affordable water and sanitation services that improve livelihoods. Switzerland works towards this by fostering policy dialogue, by strengthening the institutions managing and governing the water sector, and by investing in drinking water networks, sanitation systems and wastewater treatment facilities. It also raises general awareness about responsible water usage. In addition, public services are encouraged to participate in efforts to protect the environment and mitigate the impact of climate change.

Water

Climate change and the environment

Health

Switzerland contributes to modernising Kosovo’s health services by supporting the introduction of a mandatory basic healthcare insurance scheme. At the local level, the programme aims to improve healthcare by fostering capacity building among medical staff and encouraging citizens to access the services available. Particular attention is placed on the needs of disadvantaged or excluded groups. Other focus areas are the prevention of non-communicable diseases and awareness of healthy lifestyle behaviours among the population.

Health

Migration

Switzerland has had a migration partnership with Kosovo since 2010. The programme aims to build capacities among Kosovo’s migration authorities with a set of targeted measures in migration policy and management. It also seeks to counter migratory flows by improving the social inclusion of marginalised groups, who are among those more inclined to migrate. Meanwhile, Kosovo’s diaspora contributes to the country’s social and economic development.

Migration

Organisation and partners

The 2017-2020 cooperation strategy is implemented jointly by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the FDFA’s Human Security Division (HSD).

Switzerland's main partners in Kosovo:

  • National partners: ministries and local governments, local civil society organisations, e.g. Community Development Initiatives, Voice of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians

  • Swiss NGOs, e.g. Helvetas/Swiss Intercooperation, Swiss Church Aid (HEKS/EPER), Swisscontact

  • International companies and NGOs

  • Multilateral organisations, e.g. World Bank, IMF, UNDP

  • Private sector and think tanks

Current projects

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Combating corruption in Kosovo

Four young developers sitting at a table discussing IT solutions designed to help the municipality create more transparency.

01.05.2016 - 30.04.2020

Corruption is rampant among Kosovo’s public institutions and undermines citizens’ trust in the system. The SDC is supporting a project designed to address this problem by promoting transparency in institutions and encouraging citizens to report abuses.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Kosovo
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)

01.05.2016 - 30.04.2020


CHF 2'855'500



SDC supports municipal autonomy and political participation in Kosovo

A young man holding a microphone in his hand, listening intently to the discussion.

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2017

Since independence in 2008, Kosovo has been moving to reform and decentralise its administration. Local self-administration in the 38 municipalities is to be expanded. The SDC project "Decentralisation and Municipal Support" (DEMOS) supports 17 municipalities in improving their public services.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Kosovo
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2017


CHF 12'820'000



Improving access to good-quality healthcare services in Kosovo

A nurse giving a prescription to a patient in a primary healthcare centre.

01.11.2013 - 31.12.2019

The standard of healthcare provision in Kosovo is inadequate and does not meet the needs of the general population. Vulnerable groups are particularly affected, with a number of economic and social barriers limiting their access to care. That is why the SDC is working to improve the quality and inclusivity of the primary healthcare system in Kosovo.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Kosovo
Health
Health system strengthening
HEALTH
Health policy and administrative management

01.11.2013 - 31.12.2019


CHF 7'190'000



Promoting Private Sector Employment in Kosovo (PPSE)

16.11.2017 - 15.11.2021

The “Promoting Private Sector Employment“- PPSE program will support SMEs to become more competitive by improving their offer and efficiency in order to create gainful and inclusive employment for young people, women and minorities in dynamic SMEs that operate in the sectors with growth potential, namely Food Processing and Tourism. lt is expected that by end of 2021, 2000 additional Full Time Jobs will be created and CHF 3.8 Mio additional net income will be generated by the project partner SMEs.


Social inclusion and improvement of living conditions for Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians and other vulnerable groups in Kosovo

01.06.2017 - 31.12.2019

In order to improve the social inclusion of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians (RAE) in Kosovo, the single phase project will develop their livelihoods through ensuring better access to educational opportunities, enhanced children rights and protection, upgraded housing conditions and more income generation prospects. The project will complement these grassroots activities with policy interventions, in the education and child protection components, to ensure ownership and sustainability through institutionalization.


Kosovo: Enhancing Youth Employability (EYE)

Young women and men are standing in a kitchen and cut tomatoes and cucumbers.

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020

In order to improve the market opportunities for youth in Kosovo, the EYE program will facilitate matching between the demand (employer) and supply (potential employees) of the labour market. It contributes to ensuring the availability of adequately trained young women and men to meet the requirements of the private sector. It is expected that by end of 2020, 5,000 more young women and men will be employed, 20,000 will have better skills and 100,000 will have better career information and will make informed career choices.


Swisscontact (Kredit Ost)

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2018

Swisscontact veut élargir son rôle en tant que moteur de la promotion du secteur privé dans les pays en développement. A cette fin, Swisscontact repose son programme sur les axes d’intervention suivants : formation professionnelle et renforcement des capacités, promotion des petites et moyennes entreprises, facilitation de l’accès aux services financiers et promotion de l’utilisation efficace des ressources.


Democratic Society Promotion (DSP)

01.07.2014 - 31.12.2018

The democratic development of any country must include - besides institution building - support to an active citizenry to demand transparent, accountable and inclusive governance. DSP funds civic initiatives that advance democracy and inclusion in Kosovo. The promotion of civic participation, ethnic cohesion, gender equality and - as new component - diaspora participation are at the core of this programme.


Rural Water and Sanitation Support Programme Kosovo (RWSSP V)

01.11.2013 - 31.12.2017

Since 2005, the Swiss Rural Water and Sanitation Support Programme has provided access to safe drinking water and sanitation to more than 150,000 people living in rural area. The programme is building infrastructure, strengthening managing capacity, and developing the sector framework conditions. It is expected that by 2017, 320,000 people will benefit and that the Regional Water Companies maintain effectively the water networks.


Improving Financial Protection and Quality of Care (Contribution to a World Bank Hybrid Trust Fund)

01.09.2013 - 31.03.2019

Kosovo has initiated a wide-ranging health sector reform, a cornerstone of which is the introduction of the mandatory health insurance. Given the complexity of the reforms, technical support will be crucial in assisting an effective implementation. Moreover, a better informed targeting of public subsidies will protect poor people from either foregoing health care or being impoverished due to out of pocket payments for health care in case of ill health.


Multi-Country Investment Climate Program

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2024

The Multi-Country Investment Climate Program (MCICP) supports investment climate reform advisory in a total of 20 SECO partner countries. It is implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a globally recognized leader in this field.


Wastewater treatment plant Peja with KfW

01.11.2015 - 31.12.2020

SECO is consolidating its support to the wastewater sector in Kosovo. The construction of a wastewater treatment plant in Peja is the second project of this kind SECO is co-financing with Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) in Kosovo. The project involves investment measures and institutional strengthening, as well as policy dialogue.

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