Kosovo

Switzerland provides support to Kosovo in further developing its economic and political stability, focusing on democratic governance, sustainable economic development, health, water and climate change. 

© FDFA

In 2008, Switzerland was one of the first countries to recognise the Republic of Kosovo and to establish diplomatic relations. Switzerland and Kosovo have since then developed a partnership of trust based on mutual interests.

Kosovo has made progress towards political and economic stability. Certain achievements remain fragile, however, and many challenges still lie ahead. In particular, the domestic political situation has been characterised by political polarisation. The country has made economic progress but remains one of the poorest in Europe and political commitment to safeguarding the environment has been quite low.

Swiss engagement focuses on three thematic areas: democratic governance and peace; sustainable economic development; and climate change, water and health. In addition, all projects take gender issues into account and promote good governance.

Democratic governance and peace

Fostering an inclusive and democratic government

Switzerland engages in policy dialogue and pursues work to enhance institutional capacities for the promotion of democratic governance and human rights principles and compliance with integrity systems. It works towards a society where women and men enjoy the benefits of strengthened democratic governance and peace, where state institutions are more accountable and where citizens are more engaged in public affairs. It promotes inclusiveness and an improvement of inter-community relations and encourages the advancement of the normalisation process with Serbia.

Good governance

Sustainable economic development

Decent jobs and future prospects

Switzerland contributes to an enabling business environment by supporting reforms that aim to reduce the administrative burden for businesses and enhance transparency in business processes, including through digital solutions. Resilient market systems are promoted through the development of business services and the building up of an ecosystem to help SMEs and young entrepreneurs increase their competitiveness, mainly in agriculture, tourism and ICT. Swiss cooperation also supports a macroeconomic framework that enables the private sector to grow and create additional jobs and incomes.

Private Sector Development and financial services

Basic education and vocational training

Climate change, water and health

Health and sustainability

Switzerland’s activities in climate change, water and health are aimed at ensuring inclusive access to high-quality services and a better environment and quality of life.

In the health sector, Switzerland focuses on primary healthcare, integrated health services and health education. It works on improving the availability and quality of services and the continuum of care for the population.

In the water sector, Switzerland is engaged in advancing reforms, focusing in particular on integrated resources management and wastewater treatment in order to efficiently utilise water resources, thus improving the aquatic environment. Swiss-supported projects also contribute to mainstream climate change adaptation and promote renewable energy and efficiency measures.

Water

Climate change and the environment

Health

Transversal themes

Mainstreaming gender and good governance (incl. social inclusion) are systematically addressed in all Swiss-supported projects, informed by sound analyses and disaggregated data.

Gender is mainstreamed throughout the programmes/projects to promote women’s inclusion in governance and civil society participation; to improve women’s labour market and economic participation; and to satisfy equally women’s and men’s special needs as regards health and water and sanitation.

Good governance, including social inclusion and LNOB, is also a strategic objective and a transversal theme while working with public and private institutions and engaging in different processes (e.g. policy dialogue in water governance). Governance principles cut across all Swiss interventions, especially the principles of transparency and accountability. 

Migration

Strengthening migration policy

The Migration Partnership provides the overall framework for engaging in migration dialogue and strengthening migration policy development and migration management, in particular regarding third country migrants. Switzerland continues to support the government of Kosovo in cultivating relations with its citizens abroad, to motivate them to be an important part of change and to ensure an effective reintegration of migrants returning to Kosovo.

Migration

Organisation and partners

The 2022–25 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 Peace and Human Rights Division (PHRD).

Switzerland's main partners in Kosovo:

  • National partners: ministries and local governments, local civil society organisations
  • Swiss NGOs, e.g. Helvetas, Swisscontact
  • International companies
  • Multilateral organisations, e.g. World Bank, UNDP
  • Private sector and think tanks

Current projects

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Integrated Water Resources Management in Kosovo (IWRM-K)

01.05.2024 - 30.04.2029

Switzerland assists water sector related governments, civil society and private sector stakeholders in Kosovo in the development/implementation of a national integrated and sustainable water resources management framework. Support activities combined with capacity development and awareness building will contribute to enhanced conservation, protection, quality and equitable distribution of water resources. Thus the project also contributes to good governance, reduced risks of internal and transboundary water-related conflicts, the mitigation of climate change impact as well to enhanced the health of the population.


Civil Society for Democracy

01.01.2024 - 31.12.2028

Switzerland supports civil society in Kosovo – towards a strong and sustainable democracy actor, by contributing together with other development partners to the local re-granting scheme, administered by the Kosovo Civil Society Foundation (KCSF). Various types of grants (for activities, organisational strengthening, etc.) and capacity development enable improved organisational and financial capacities of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), strengthened constituency relations and increased civic engagement in public affairs.


Women in Politics (WIP)

01.01.2023 - 31.10.2027

The project aims at contributing to increased gender equality in Kosovo by supporting key pathways for women to enter and remain in politics and governance leadership - at both national and municipal levels - and engage in gender responsive policies. SDC is joining - through delegated cooperation - a comprehensive programme of USAID ("Inclusive and Accountable Representation Activity ") by contributing to one of its three interrelated and complementary programme components.


Social Justice for Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians (SORAE)

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2025

The second phase of SORAE will continue to support Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians (R/A/E) on achieving equal human and economic rights. A range of cross sectorial interventions on fighting discrimination, improving housing, increasing school enrolment and employment will improve R/A/E’s socio-economic inclusion – with special focus on children, youth and women.


Decentralization and Municipal Support (DEMOS III)

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2025

DEMOS III will consolidate achievements of decentralised governance in the areas of policy framework and municipal performance. A grant mechanism rewarding municipalities for their good governance practices will be institutionalised with the aim to offer better quality services to citizens. The Association of Kosovo Municipalities (AKM) will strengthen its advocacy role and citizens will be engaged in the oversight. Funds will be pooled by Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, the EU and the Government of Kosovo.  


Promoting Private Sector Employment (PPSE)

16.11.2021 - 15.11.2025

The last phase of PPSE will continue to help enterprises in the Food and Natural Ingredients (FNI) and tourism sectors grow through increasing competiveness, product diversification and improving access to markets, thus creating jobs in Kosovo, with focus on women and minorities. Further, by improving sector coordination, PPSE improves public-private dialogue and achieves sustainable results.


Enhancing Youth Employment (EYE)

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024

In order to contribute to the better employment perspectives for young women and men in Kosovo, the Enhancing Youth Employment project will focus its support in its last phase on improving technical and soft skills for young people through promoting non-formal training solutions. At the same time, it will facilitate the improvement of career guidance services and the labour market information system that would in turn contribute to better informed career choices for young people in Kosovo.


IHS - Integrated Health Services

01.01.2021 - 31.10.2026

The Integrated Health Services project aims at improving the availability, quality and continuity of care for patients with non-communicable diseases by strengthening related clinical, managerial and governance processes in the General Hospitals of Gjakova and Peja. IHS enhances coordination and referral between primary and secondary levels of care, and at national level, it supports stakeholders to develop and implement a policy framework that fosters patient-centred integrated care.


Investment Council Project in Albania and Kosovo (EBRD)

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2026

The EBRD Investment Council Project in Albania and Kosovo (2023-26) supports the improvement of the investment climate and economic policies in the two Western Balkan countries. It does so by providing technical assistance and fostering a more effective policy dialogue between the public and private sector.


Global Financial Infrastructure Programme, Phase II

01.07.2022 - 30.06.2027

The Global Financial Infrastructure Programme fosters financial inclusion of individuals and responsible access to finance for SMEs through financial infrastructure reforms in SECO and SDC partner countries. It focuses on strengthening credit information systems, secured transaction reforms, as well as insolvency and debt resolution.


Climate resilience in the water sector of Kosovo

01.01.2022 - 31.12.2028

Kosovo is very vulnerable to climate-change impacts in the water sector. It is almost uniquely dependent on internal water resources. While the access and quality of water services has improved considerably, the sector is characterized by high levels of non-revenue water and energy consumption as well as limited capacities related to these topics.


Improving the District Heating in Gjakova, Kosovo

01.01.2020 - 13.12.2023

The Gjakova Municipality approached SECO for support in improving the performance of the DH Company. This improvement includes increasing the DH company’s administrative, operational and financial capacities, but also the energy efficiency of the municipal DH, including the network, and the Regional Hospital.

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