Latvia – A partner country for Switzerland’s contribution to EU enlargement

The Swiss contribution to Latvia amounts to CHF 60 million. Between now and 2017, 12 projects designed to reduce economic and social disparities in Latvia are implemented. A Swiss contribution office has been established in Riga for the purpose of working closely on project implementation with the national coordination unit within the LatvianMinistry of Finance.

© 2014 Natural Earth

Projects in Latvia

Switzerland supports 12 projects in Latvia with its EU enlargement contribution

Project news

News, highlights and information on the projects in Latvia

Results in Latvia

Switzerland uses its enlargement contribution to help create jobs using microcredits, clean up oil-contaminated ports and improve fire safety in schools and kindergartens

Bilateral Framework Agreement with Latvia

Switzerland has concluded a bilateral framework agreement with Latvia. Switzerland decides in consultation with Latvia and independently of the EU which projects it will support

Documents (8)

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Swiss Enlargement Contribution Annual Report 2015

The annual report contains an overview of concrete results and the status of project implementation. Over 500 doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers from the new EU member states received scholarships in 2015 to do research in Switzerland. Bulgaria introduced legislation that provides for outpatient care based on the Swiss Spitex model, and Slovenia halved the heating and electricity bills of schools through energy efficiency renovations and renewable energies.




Evaluation Report on the Swiss Contribution 2015: Key points in brief

An independent evaluation has confirmed the federal authorities have achieved good results in implementing Switzerland’s enlargement contribution to the new EU member states. This report summarises the key findings of the evaluation and outlines the progress and achievements of the Swiss contribution.



The Swiss Enlargement Contribution

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs present an interim balance sheet on the first five years since the approval of the Enlargement Contribution to the new 10 EU-Member States. The projects are to be implemented within another five year period, i.e., by 2017.






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News (14)

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Sciex research programme comes to an end

A woman working in a laboratory at a microscope.

28.09.2015 – Article

The closing ceremony of the Sciex scholarship programme was held on 25 September 2015. Thanks to this programme, more than 500 doctoral and post-doctoral students could visit Switzerland for a limited period to conduct and expand their research. 


State Secretary in the Baltic states

State Secretary Ineichen-Fleisch with Rolands Panko from the Latvian development bank

22.05.2015 – Article

State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch travelled to the Baltic states from 18 to 22 May. Her itinerary included three projects that Switzerland is supporting through its enlargement contribution.


Federal Council opens consultation on the continuation of the Federal Act on Cooperation with the States of Eastern Europe

17.12.2014 – Media release
The Federal Council has opened the consultation on the continuation of the Federal Act on Cooperation with the States of Eastern Europe (Eastern Europe Cooperation Act). The current act is still valid until the end of May 2017. A timely prolongation should enable the seamless continuation of cooperation with the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The consultation will last until 31 March 2015.


1,000 microcredits – 2,000 ways of getting people out of unemployment

The Swiss ambassador (left) and the chairman of the board of ALTUM cutting the red ribbon to inaugurate the new kitchen on 16 October 2014.

20.11.2014 – Article

On 16 October 2014 the Swiss ambassador and the chairman of the board of ALTUM (the State Joint Stock Company Latvian Development Financial Institution, previously Hipotēku Banka) paid a celebratory visit to the POGA kindergarten – the recipient of their 1,000th microcredit. The Swiss-Latvian microcredit programme makes it easier for small businesses and self-employed people to get access to loans. The programme has clearly outstripped its initial aim of making 650 credits available for the creation of 900 jobs.




Microlending programme in Latvia exceeds its targets

Woman on a farm in Latvia

07.11.2013 – Article

The unemployment ratio in Latvia rose dramatically as a result of the world’s economic and financial crises. The microlending programme makes it easier for micro enterprises and the self-employed to obtain business loans. The aim of the project was to award around 650 microcredits and thus create up to 900 new jobs. 2013 these targets are exceeded: Already 800 microcredits are allocated and approximately 2,000 jobs have been retained or created thanks to the microlending programme.


Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter to visit the Baltic countries to deepen bilateral relations and discuss relations with the European Union

29.07.2013 – Media release
From 29 July to 1 August, Mr Burkhalter, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), will pay an official working visit to Lithuania and then to Latvia. He will make the traditional 1 August speech to mark Switzerland's national day in Riga. The main aims of this official working visit are to deepen bilateral relations, to discuss the importance of relations between Switzerland and the European Union (EU) and to present Switzerland's priorities for its chairmanship of the OSCE in 2014. Mr Burkhalter will also visit a number of projects that are part of the Swiss enlargement contribution. This contribution is a key element in the bilateral relationships between Switzerland and each of these two countries.


Switzerland

31.05.2013 – Media release
More than 200 projects are now being implemented as part of the enlargement contribution. At the annual conference of Swiss Cooperation with Eastern Europe on 31 May 2013 in Bern, government representatives and experts from Switzerland and abroad discussed the importance and the impact of these projects. About 750 people took part in the annual conference in the Hotel National, an exceptionally high turnout.


Official visit by Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs

21.03.2013 – Media release
On 21st March 2013, Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), received his Latvian counterpart Edgars Rinkēvičs for an official working visit. In addition to bilateral relations, the talks in Bern covered the European policy of both countries, aspects of multilateral cooperation, and current international issues.


Switzerland’s Enlargement Contribution to Latvia fully committed

Green traffic light in Riga

05.03.2012 – Article

The signing of the last project agreement in the frame of the Swiss Enlargement Contribution to Latvia took place in Riga on 1 February 2012. This event means that the entire amount of the CHF 60 million of Switzerland’s Enlargement Contribution earmarked for Latvia has now been fully committed.


Latvia: Easier access to microcredits

Branch bank Hipoteku Banka

21.06.2011 – Local news

Switzerland contributes 7.48 million Swiss francs to support a microcredit programme in Latvia. The programme agreement was signed on 21 June 2011. The microcredit programme will make it easier for small-sized companies and self-employed workers to obtain microloans, which in turn should spur the creation of up to 900 new jobs.

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