Where does Switzerland stand with the implementation of the enlargement contribution?

A tram driving through the Czech city of Olomuc.
A new tramline for the Czech city of Olomuc: an enlargement contribution project © SECO

Switzerland's contribution to the enlarged EU on the right track: As the enlargement contribution for the EU's 2004 entrants approaches an end, Croatia's is just beginning to take shape.

Since 2008, Switzerland has been participating in various projects designed to reduce the economic and social disparities in the countries that joined the EU in 2004. The duration of the projects depends on when each country joined the EU:

  • Switzerland has contributed CHF 1 billion to support projects designed to reduce economic and social disparities in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta. 210 projects have been implemented. The initial project objectives have been achieved on the whole, and in many projects even surpassed.

  • Switzerland has allocated CHF 257 million to support 13 thematic funds and 28 projects in Bulgaria and Romania. The projects are to be implemented by the end of 2019 at the latest.

  • Croatia became the 28th member state of the EU on 1 July 2013. Switzerland is also supporting this newest EU member with a CHF 45 million contribution. With the commitment period coming to a close on 31 May 2017, the two countries have selected 12 projects to complete by 2024.

Documents (70)

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Swiss Enlargement Contribution: Annual Report 2016

The report shows the results and the state of progress, e.g. in the dual vocational training programme in Slovakia, the fight against human trafficking in Bulgaria and Romania, the rehabilitation of a port in Latvia, and a venture capital fund in Hungary. In addition, it covers the national programmes which have come to a close in Estonia and Slovenia and presents the new programme in Croatia.

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.

Swiss Enlargement Contribution Annual Report 2014

The 2014 annual report on Switzerland's enlargement contribution provides an overview of the most recent developments and a summary of key project results in 2014. Around 300 projects were being implemented at the end of the year, with 18 already completed. Granting an enlargement contribution of CHF 45 million for Croatia and closing the commitment period for Bulgaria and Romania were important events for 2014.

The enlargement contribution – a postcard set

Ten statements by people from ten countries on the Swiss enlargement contribution.

The Swiss Enlargement Contribution Interim report for the end of the commitment period in Bulgaria and Romania 2009–2014

The Swiss Enlargement Contribution Interim report for the end of the commitment period in Bulgaria and Romania 2009–2014

Annual Report 2013 on the Swiss Enlargement Contribution

The 2013 annual report on Switzerland’s enlargement contribution illustrates the concrete results of the contribution through projects, and shows why the enlargement contribution is also in Switzerland’s interests. At the end of 2013, more than 200 projects were in the process of implementation; 13 had already been completed. An important event in 2013 was the annual conference on Swiss Cooperation with Eastern Europe on the theme of the importance, impact and potential of the enlargement contribution, at which project staff reported on their experiences.

Swiss Contribution to the climate change mitigation and environment protection in Poland

Switzerland supports the climate change mitigation and the environment protection measures in Poland. The 23 Environment and Infrastructure projects received CHF 199 million funding, out of the total CHF 489 million allocated for Poland. The projects deal with 1) Energy efficiency and renewable energy sources; 2) Waste disposal; 3) Public transport; 4) Biodiversity. The projects are implemented by the local self-governments and NGOs and often involve local population.A selection of projects illustraes ongoing activities in various countries, themes and areas of activity.

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News (187)

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10 years of contribution to the enlarged EU: efforts pay off

Workers installing solar panels in Niepolomice, Poland.

19.06.2017 – Media release

The 10-year implementation period for Switzerland’s enlargement contribution to the 10 central and eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004 came to an end on 14 June 2017. Under the contribution, Parliament approved a total of CHF 1 billion to implement 210 projects which have helped reduce economic and social disparities among broad sections of the population living in the EU.

State secretary attends final conference in Czechia

State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch congratulating Pardubice city government representatives.

14.06.2017 – Article

State Secretary Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch was in Czechia from 2 to 4 May 2017. During her visit she opened the final conference of the Swiss-Czech cooperation programme, which comes to an end in mid-June. She also visited four projects which were supported through Switzerland’s contribution to the enlarged EU.

Cooperation with Croatia takes shape

Apprentices sewing wigs

31.05.2017 – Article

Two and a half years after the Swiss Parliament approved an EU enlargement contribution of CHF 45 million for Croatia, the commitment period is due to expire at the end of May 2017. The two countries have agreed on 12 projects during this time. The cooperation will focus on improving the drinking water supply and waste water treatment, education and research, and demining efforts.

Closing conference of the Swiss-Polish Cooperation Programme

Closing conference

15.05.2017 – Local news

On Friday 19th of May 2017 join us for the final conference which will sum up the results of the Swiss-Polish Cooperation Programme.Swiss and Polish speakers from central and local authorities, NGOs and academia will join three parallel discussion panels on the directions for energy efficiency and renewable energy, the significance of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for their regions and on cost and benefits of health protection programmes.

Register here.

Swiss-Czech partnerships a success

Four people standing on a rock ledge.

15.05.2017 – Article

Nearly a hundred projects were implemented under the Swiss-Czech partnership fund. These range from the construction of a cable car system and the promotion of non-motorised transport to cooperation between Czech and Swiss vocational schools. Our photo gallery presents some of the projects.

Switzerland shares best practice in the field of energy

A group of people walking down some stairs towards the turbines at the hydroelectric power plant in Broc.

03.04.2017 – Article

Poland has been demonstrating a keen interest in renewable energies and raising people's awareness of climate protection. That is why Switzerland has been supporting ten projects aimed at increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies in Poland over the last five years. It is also the fifth time that Switzerland has hosted a delegation of representatives from Poland interested in finding out more about our energy policy and expertise in this field. Given that Switzerland’s contribution to the EU’s ten new member states will end in June 2017, the most recent visit of the Polish delegation was even more important in terms of maintaining partnerships between the two countries and Switzerland’s activities in Poland.

Dual vocational education and training in Slovakia


25.01.2017 – Article

Switzerland is supporting a project to help Slovakia improve dual vocational education and training. The project aims to develop a practice-based market-oriented vocational education and training system. The vocational schools gear their courses to businesses’ requirements and pupils receive training in a company in addition to theoretical knowledge. This equips them with better qualifications and improves their job prospects.

Switzerland is investing in the future – in public buildings in Estonia

Four children's bicycles in front of a school building. The grey facade is crumbling, the windows are simply glazed.

22.12.2016 – Article

In the fight against climate change, the thermo-modernisation of infrastructure plays an important role. With Swiss support, Estonia is renovating public facilities in accordance with internationally recognised energy standards and providing them with alternative energy sources. The projects not only improve the global climate but also the working and learning environment inside the buildings.

Upgrading public transport in the Czech Republic

A small group of people board a local bus at the new bus station – newly planted trees and green spaces are evidence of the regeneration work done in this area.

15.11.2016 – Article

The Czech city of Beroun is pleased with its new bus station. Local and regional buses now stop directly next to the train station, making the kilometre-long walk from one to the other a thing of the past.  In addition to the much shorter connection time, the project, which was organised in the context of Switzerland’s contribution to the enlarged EU, clearly improves the security of passengers and takes into account the needs of people with disabilities.

Switzerland supports the victims of human trafficking

18.10.2016 – Article

Europe has appealed for international action against trafficking in humans on 18 October every year since 2007. Switzerland is also committed to the fight against human trafficking through its enlargement contribution. It is supporting Bulgaria and Romania with their efforts aimed at prevention, victim protection, reintegration and improving criminal prosecution.

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Publications (22)

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Swiss Cooperation with Eastern Europe - Supporting the transition to democracy and a social market economy

On 14 June 2012 the commitment period for Switzerland’s enlargement contribution for the EU-10 came to an end. During this time, Switzerland approved 210 projects with the partner countries. With that, Switzerland’s contribution of one billion francs to the EU-10 has been fully committed. As of the end of 2012, 11 projects had been completed. For Bulgaria and Romania, the commitment period ends in December 2014. As of the end of 2012, Switzerland had given its provisional approval for five project ideas in Bulgaria and Romania, with a total budget of CHF 54.2 million; and final approval for all 13 thematic funds and 11 individual project applications, with a total budget of CHF 133.6 million. This means that 77% of the project budget for Bulgaria and Romania has been provisionally or definitively committed. The annual report provides a more detailed look at the progress made on the projects in 2012.

The Swiss Enlargement Contribution, Annual Report 2011

The approval process for projects within the frame of the Switzerland's Enlargement Contribution unfolded in a satisfactory manner. Numerous projects that had been approved in the previous years were able to be further implemented according to plan. 14 June 2012 marks the end of the commitment period for the Enlargement Contribution to the benefit of the EU 10. After the commitment period has come to an end, the competent authorities in Switzerland and in the partner countries will provide information on all of the approved projects. A first status report is planned to be published in June and an expanded status report in autumn 2012.

The Swiss Enlargement Contribution: Interim report for the end of the EU 10 commitment period

By voting in favour of the Federal Act on Cooperation with the States of Eastern Europe on 26 November 2006, Swiss voters cleared the way for a billion-franc investment in the ten countries which joined the European Union in 2004. Following Parliament’s approval of the relevant framework credit on 14 June 2007, the enlargement contribution finally came into being. Five years on, the initial project approval phase has been completed. These projects will be implemented up to 2017. This brochure provides a host of interesting facts and background information on the projects and the countries in which these projects are being implemented.

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.

An interim review of the Swiss enlargement contribution to the EU-10 states

14 June 2012 marks the expiry date of the five-year period during which Switzerland can approve enlargement contribution projects to assist the EU-10 states. It can thus be assumed that the total amount of CHF 1 billion earmarked is fully committed up to this time as planned, even if there may be some minor delays in a few of the partner states. Switzerland’s enlargement contribution scheme has proved its worth to date and the review has been positive. The final review will happen after 2018 when all projects are completed and the enlargement contribution has been disbursed.

Swiss Enlargement Contribution Activities in 2010

The Swiss enlargement contribution for the benefit of the twelve new EU member states is bearing fruit. The first projects have been concluded and numerous project proposals approved. Switzerland has also signed bilateral-cooperation programme agreements with Romania and Bulgaria. The Annual Report 2010 represents an interim review of activities and results.

Swiss Enlargement Contribution, Activities in 2009

By the end of 2009, 37 projects were definitively approved. They include, inter alia, the promotion of renewable energies, the establishment of a national capital fund for small and medium-sized enterprises, a fund for research projects, as well as projects to improve school transport and the situation of children in children’s homes. In addition, 68 preliminary project proposals were also approved which now have to be transformed into detailed project proposals.

Annual Report 2008 on Switzerland's Contribution to EU Enlargement

The Swiss enlargement contribution in support of the new EU Member States successfully entered the implementation phase in 2008. The activity report provides information on the activities and the first results of 2008. The implementation of the enlargement contribution is proceeding as planned in every respect.

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