Promoting economic growth and improving working conditions

Woman on a farm in Latvia
In Latvia, which has been hard hit by the global financial crisis, a programme of microcredits has created or saved about 2,000 jobs. © SECO

Switzerland supports projects with CHF 333 million in its partner countries. They support economic growth and improve working conditions. This is also in Switzerland's interest as the Swiss export industry profits from developing the Eastern European growth markets and the increasing spending power in the partner countries.

The projects are extremely varied and range from supporting structurally weak regions in South-East Poland and the implementation of a dual vocational training system in Slovakia to scholarships for young scientists from the new EU member states. The enlargement contribution also finances small company loans and thus contributes to the creation and preservation of numerous jobs. It also strengthens companies' social responsibility and tourism in structurally weak regions and improves the application of international financial reporting and auditing standards, which increases investors' willingness to invest and helps to prevent financial crises.

First results

First results in target area Promoting economic growth and improving working conditions. © SECO/SDC

Documents (6)

Object 1 – 6 of 6

  • 1

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.







Projects promoting social inclusion of the Roma people and other disadvantaged groups in four EU member states


Object 1 – 6 of 6

  • 1

News (26)

Object 1 – 12 of 26

Preventing financial crime and attracting investors

A businesswoman with a calculator and folder

23.02.2016 – Article

Estonia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic have completed their projects in the area of financial reporting, improving their application of international standards in financial reporting and auditing. The improved quality, transparency and comparability of their financial reporting is creating a better environment for the private sector.


Swiss support helps secure jobs in Romania

A man making a cello

06.01.2016 – Article

In the town of Reghin in the north-west of Romania, the Moldovan family runs a small business making musical instruments. Thanks to a microcredit provided by Switzerland, they have been able to purchase two new wood-processing machines and a vehicle, helping to make their work more efficient, increase their income and secure jobs.


Croatian delegation studies the Swiss VET system

 The Croatian minister talks to apprentices.

30.10.2015 – Article

The SDC will help Croatia modernise its vocational and education and training (VET) system. The aim is to adapt courses to changing economic needs and to reduce youth unemployment. A high-ranking Croatian delegation has visited several Swiss vocational schools and companies in different industries to get a first-hand view of the Swiss dual vocational education and training system.



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.


Young Romanian researching pain in Lausanne

27 year old Alexandru Deftu is doing research in his laboratory.

29.01.2015 – Article

Thanks to a Sciex scholarship Alexandru Deftu from Romania has been researching aspects of pain signals in the central nervous system for one year at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV). On 17 November 2014 he presented his complex field of research at the University of Bern to other research fellows and an interested public as part of the "Sciex Science Slammer 2014" competition. In an interview he talks about his work and the difficulty of making a complex subject accessible to the general public.


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.


End of commitment period for enlargement contribution to Bulgaria and Romania

A man standing in front of a machine using a remote control.

08.12.2014 – Media release
The commitment period of the enlargement contribution for Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the EU in 2007, ended on 7 December. In all, 13 thematic funds and 28 projects totalling CHF 257 million were approved. The Swiss commitment aims to eradicate social and economic disparities in the enlarged European Union (EU).


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.


The President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Burkhalter, meets the Maltese Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr George W. Vella

The President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Burkhalter, and Maltese Minister for Foreign Affairs George W. Vella signing a memorandum of understanding at the Von-Wattenwyl-Haus in Bern.

04.11.2014 – Media release

Bern, 04.11.2014 - The President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) met the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Malta on Tuesday for an official working visit at the Watteville House in Bern. The meeting was an opportunity to take stock of various international and multilateral issues and of the development of bilateral relations between Switzerland and Malta. A memorandum of understanding was signed.


The President of the Swiss Confederation, Didier Burkhalter, meets the Maltese Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr George W. Vella

04.11.2014 – Media release
The President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) met the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Malta on Tuesday for an official working visit at the Watteville House in Bern. The meeting was an opportunity to take stock of various international and multilateral issues and of the development of bilateral relations between Switzerland and Malta. A memorandum of understanding was signed.


Switzerland promotes tourism in Slovakia

Official opening of a tourist information centre

03.07.2014 – Article

The high point of a regional development project in Slovakia was the official opening of a tourist information centre on 28 June 2014. The centre is located in the Slovak Paradise (Slovenský raj) National Park, which attracts some 700,000 visitors every year.  The aim of the project is to promote tourism in this high potential region and to create jobs and opportunities for the local people.

Object 1 – 12 of 26

Publications (1)

Object 1 – 1 of 1

  • 1

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.


Object 1 – 1 of 1

  • 1