The selection process is completed in all countries. The partner countries were in general in charge of selecting suitable projects. Switzerland checked the proposals and decided on the financing.
Call for Proposals
Many countries also held competitions. Project proposals could be submitted by public institutions in the partner states, e.g. municipalities, regional and national authorities, and international organisations. The selection process was usually supported by an advisory committee made up of line ministries, NGOs, regional representatives and social partners.
Once approved, proposals would be forwarded according to their thematic area to the SDC or SECO. These departments would then check the proposals, make a final project selection and decide on the financing. External specialists sometimes took part in this process. In the project approval phase, Switzerland was also keen to attract Swiss partner institutions for the projects, thus promoting the exchange of experience.
In Romania and Bulgaria, the SDC works via what are known as 'thematic funds'. These are usually supervised by fund administrators known as Swiss intermediary bodies, which were selected by public tender and were responsible for analysing project proposals on behalf of the national coordination units and the SDC. Calls for project ideas including the requirements and criteria to be met were published locally.