Strengthening democratic governance

Switzerland’s international cooperation supports reform processes and strengthens institutions as a way to improve governance in its partner countries. Good governance is a cross-cutting theme of most Swiss cooperation projects.

The living conditions of individuals depend to a large extent on the rules and institutions that govern them. In other words, the rule of law and firmly established institutions aware of the needs of the weakest sections of society are indispensable for reducing poverty.

Switzerland’s international cooperation has set itself the mission to assist every transition process in establishing the rule of law, democracy and a free-market economy. In situations where progress has been made, it is important to strengthen democratic political institutions, judicial systems and organisations that allow fair social and economic development. 

Promoting citizens’ participation

Switzerland promotes civic participation, improves governance structures and supports decentralisation reforms. It is active in establishing good economic and financial governance, the sound, responsible and transparent management of public finances and a business-friendly regulatory environment.

The fight against corruption is essential because corruption discriminates against the poorest sections of society as well as against ethnic and linguistic minorities with regard to access to public services. It also raises social tensions by undermining citizens’ trust in their institutions.

By contrast, encouraging good governance reduces the trend towards radicalisation and extremism – whose origins are to be found in perceived or real frustrations and injustices.