Note: the texts under all the headings, with the exception of 'Results achieved', describe the situation before the start of the project.
Partnership fund in the Czech Republic
The Partnership Fund encourages development of mutual cooperation and partnerships between the Czech and Swiss bodies. The Fund supports smaller projects between 10'000 and 250'000 CHF and contributes through the exchange of know how and best practices to tackle development challenges in the Czech Republic.
- 98 Swiss-Czech projects deepening existing or establishing new partnerships between various organisations, both at local and national levels.
- 15% of projects resulted in longer-term cooperation beyond the original project's support.
- Contribution to strengthened bilateral relations between Switzerland and the Czech Republic
- Mutual transfer of know-how led to joint publications in academic or medical spheres, as well as new methodologies or approaches supporting further developement in the given areas. For example new model of work opportunities for disadvantaged, methods for buiding-up the production and market for organic beef or a study related to children's rights which formed the basis for legislative amendment and related National Action Plan.
- National State Institute North
In the 90s, more than 80 partnerships were established between Swiss and Czech municipalities with the aim to assist with strengthening political structures and organisation of their functioning. Later on, the partnerships shifted rather to a social and cultural exchange. During the preparation of the Swiss Contribution, various stakeholders in Switzerland (cities, trade unions) signalled their interest to intensify partnerships and implement joint projects with their Czech partner.
The Partnership Fund encourages development of mutual cooperation and partnerships between Czech and Swiss bodies. The Fund aims at supporting Swiss-Czech links through the exchange of information, transfer of know-how and best practices within projects implemented in the Czech Republic.
State, regional and local authorities, universities, NGOs, professional chambers and unions, associations
Call for project proposals periodically invite applicants to submit their sub-projects in specific thematic areas. The submitted sub-projects are assessed by an evaluation committee, which is composed of different Czech bodies (NGO, Social partners umbrella organisations, towns and regions) as well as the Swiss Embassy. The implementation of the selected projects will be monitored by the Intermediary.
Schweizer Beitrag an die erweiterte EU
Ausländische staatliche Institution
Intermediary Body and Executing Agency: Ministry of Finance (National Coordination Unit)
|Budget||Laufende Phase Schweizer Beitrag CHF 5'050'000 Bereits ausgegebenes Schweizer Budget CHF 4'105'340|
Phase 1 01.06.2009 - 14.06.2017 (Completed)
Strenghtening Civil Society through Swiss Expertise
The partnership funds set up under the auspices of Switzerland’s enlargement contribution facilitate the sharing of experience between institutions in the new EU member states and Swiss partners – in areas such as non-motorised mobility, teacher training and environmental protection. The Swiss contribution to the partnership funds for financing small projects in partner countries is approximately CHF 23 million. In the Czech Republic for example, these funds are supporting projects to promote non-motorised mobility and vocational education.
Switzerland possesses a great deal of expertise in areas such as research and environmental protection, and in other fields too. For mainly historical reasons the partner countries lack expertise in a wide range of areas. Swiss organisations can consequently make a significant contribution to active knowledge transfer. Funds totalling CHF 5.05 million have been invested in such partnerships in the Czech Republic.
Switzerland is supporting 85 small projects in the Czech Republic which help to solve concrete problems. Partners include foundations, associations, municipalities and cities. Switzerland generally finances 90% of the project budget. The Czech partner organisations assume the rest of the costs. Sharing its experience allows Switzerland to play an active role in breaking down economic and social disparities within the Czech Republic and between the Czech Republic and the older EU member states. Switzerland is part of the selection committee in the Czech Republic and is actively involved in decisions relating to the funding of the projects.
The two following project descriptions give an idea of the wide variety of partnership projects carried out in the Czech Republic with help from Switzerland.
Partnership for non-motorised mobility
Switzerland has a great deal of experience in the field of non-motorised mobility. The SwitzerlandMobility foundation encourages people to get around without a motor by suggesting selected routes for walkers, cyclists, in-line skaters and canoeists. The Czech counterpart to SwitzerlandMobility is the Greenways Programme of the Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation. The objective of the project was cooperation between these two partners.
A week-long programme about SwitzerlandMobility’s services took place in Switzerland to provide the Czech delegation an insight into Swiss non-motorised mobility. In return, representatives of SwitzerlandMobility travelled for four days around the Czech Republic introducing their foundation to interested parties. The exchange programme enabled the participants to come up with ideas on how to develop the SwitzerlandMobility model in the Czech Republic. The project officially ended with a two-day conference in Prague attended by Lukas Stadtherr from SwitzerlandMobility. The Czech foundation reported on the progress made thanks to the shared experience. In addition, the foundation created a brochure in Czech on the cooperation and partnership project with SwitzerlandMobility and presented drafts of their own cycle tours website. Cooperation between the two foundations is likely to continue well past the end of the project.
Knowledge transfer in technical education and training
The Swiss dual vocational and professional education and training system has a very good reputation, as it stands apprentices in good stead for their future careers. This type of education and training is very popular among young people in Switzerland: around two thirds of school leavers choose the vocational route. In contrast, apprenticeships in the Czech Republic are rapidly losing their appeal since the education they offer is purely theory-based or takes place in school workshops with worn and outdated equipment. This means that at the end of their apprenticeship, apprentices have not acquired the skills employers are looking for and have difficulty entering the labour market. The «Střední škola technická» (SŠt) in Prague benefits from Swiss experience and quality through the partnership fund in the Czech Republic.
This upper-secondary vocational school has a partnership with Lausanne technical vocational college (École téchnique – École des Métiers de Lausanne (ETML) ). Exchange visits allow the Czech schools to find out more about vocational education and training in Switzerland and get a clearer idea of the specific measures needed to improve the situation of vocational education and training in the Czech Republic. Another of the partnership projects contributions is the transfer of used tools and machinery in perfect working order from the ETML to the SŠt at a symbolic price. This partnership is set to continue despite the end of the project, and further exchange visits of apprentices and teaching staff are expected.
Partnerships strenghten bilateral relations
The partnership funds set up under the auspices of Switzerland’s enlargement contribution facilitate the exchange of experience between institutions in the new EU member states and Swiss partners - in areas such as non-motorised transport, teacher training and biodiversity, for instance. The Swiss contribution to partnership funds for financing small projects is approximately CHF 25 million.
Switzerland possesses a great deal of knowledge in areas such as research and environmental protection, and in other fields too. Given the lack of experience of the partner countries in a wide range of areas (usually for historical reasons), Swiss organisations can consequently make a significant contribution to active knowledge transfer.
Focus on sharing experience
The partnership funds in Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and the Czech Republic support and foster institutional partnerships between Switzerland and the respective countries. These partnerships focus on sharing experience in the various fields. As a result, institutions and government agencies in the new EU member states can benefit from Swiss expertise and knowledge. This is also in Switzerland’s interests. Through the partnership funds, Switzerland is supporting around 280 small projects which will help solve concrete problems in the partner countries and improve the living conditions of their citizens. Only non-profit organisations are accepted as partners in both Switzerland and the partner countries, i.e. organisations that do not pursue any commercial interests through their participation in projects, such as foundations or associations. Public authorities such as municipalities or cantonal administrative bodies are also eligible to access these funds. Trade unions can also be admitted as partners. Town twinning is a traditional example of such a partnership.
First partnership projects already completed
For instance, Swiss expertise helped to implement a project to promote non-motorised transport in the Czech Republic. Another project concerned incorporating the rights of children in teacher training. As part of the Slovenian partnership fund, a joint research project to preserve biodiversity was implemented. In Poland the focus was placed on partnerships between towns and municipalities. For instance, Polish cities and municipalities can consult Swiss agencies in areas such as spatial planning and public transport.
Mutual benefits of cooperation
By expanding its horizons through establishing and maintaining long-term partnerships between public agencies and institutions, Switzerland also benefits from the mutual exchange of experience. Partnership projects allow Swiss partners to play an active role in reducing economic and social disparities between the new member states and the EU. Projects are submitted to the national institution nominated to manage the fund. A broad-based selection committee, on which Switzerland is also represented, decides which projects will be financed. The partnership funds set up as part of the Swiss enlargement contribution:
• will co-finance around 280 partnership projects;
• will create and foster institutional partnerships between public bodies in the new EU member states and Switzerland;
• will enable the exchange of specialist knowledge between the new EU member states and Switzerland to the benefit of all parties.