Bilateral relations Switzerland–Kosovo

Switzerland and Kosovo enjoy close bilateral relations, characterised by strong ties between people. Switzerland is one of Kosovo’s main partner countries and donors

Key aspects of diplomatic relations

During the crisis of 1998–99 Switzerland provided humanitarian aid and programmes for the return and reintegration of refugees and displaced persons. These activities were subsequently replaced by reconstruction and development programmes. Switzerland participates in peacekeeping operations and promotes the long-term stability of the country via a peace promotion programme.

Switzerland recognised the new republic of Kosovo and established diplomatic and consular relations with it on 27 February 2008. Since then, Switzerland and Kosovo have signed a number of bilateral agreements, in particular in the areas of technical and financial cooperation, civil aviation, road transport for passengers and freight, trade and investment protection.

Treaty Database

Cooperation in education, research and innovation

Foreign scholars and artists from Kosovo can apply for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).

Kosovo is also a partner country in the SCOPES research programme (Scientific cooperation between Eastern Europe and Switzerland).

SERI: Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships for Foreign Scholars and Artists for the Academic Year 2017-2018

Swiss National Science Foundation: Scientific co-operation between Eastern Europe and Switzerland

Peacebuilding and human security

Switzerland actively promotes political dialogue, reconciliation, the strengthening of democratic institutions, and humanitarian demining. In addition, Switzerland makes specialists available to the European Union Rule of Law Mission (EULEX), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Since October 1999 the Swiss Armed Forces have been participating in the international peace support mission Kosovo Force (KFOR) through SWISSCOY (Swiss Company). SWISSCOY is composed of 235 voluntary soldiers.

Swiss Armed Forces: peacebuilding deployment abroad, Swisscoy

Development cooperation and humanitarian aid

Switzerland has been active through development cooperation in Kosovo since 1998. The aid provided in the aftermath of the conflict has now been replaced by development programmes. The SDC’s and SECO’s cooperation programme 2013–2016 focuses on the following:

  • Economic development and employment
  • Rule of law and democracy
  • Public infrastructure
  • Health
  • Migration

This commitment makes Switzerland one of Kosovo’s most important donor countries.

Development cooperation and humanitarian aid

Swiss Nationals in Kosovo

At the end of 2016 there were 438 Swiss registered as living in Kosovo. Members of the Swisscoy contingent are not included in this number.

History of bilateral relations

Kosovo declared independence on 17 February 2008. Switzerland recognised the new republic and established diplomatic and consular relations with it on 27 February 2008. Switzerland began to take in workers from Kosovo in 1960. Tens of thousands of refugees arrived in the 1990s, fleeing the conflict. Since then Switzerland has been actively involved in the reconstruction and development of the country.

Historical Dictionary of Switzerland: Kosovo (de, fr, it)