End of commitment period for enlargement contribution to Bulgaria and Romania

Bern, Media release, 08.12.2014

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).

A man standing in front of a machine using a remote control.
As part of the SME project in Romania, a company with 20 employees received a loan of CHF 79,000 for purchasing a machine tool that automatically cuts 3D advertising products into size using modern control technology. Three new employees were hired thanks to this acquisition. © SECO

As part of the enlargement contribution, Switzerland is making an independent contribution to projects in Romania and Bulgaria, which joined the EU in 2007. Through its support, Switzerland is helping to eradicate economic and social disparities in Europe and thereby contributing to greater stability and prosperity on the continent.

Switzerland has allocated CHF 257 million to Romania and Bulgaria as part of the enlargement contribution. Submitted projects had to be approved by 7 December 2014. On the Swiss side, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) are responsible for the operational implementation of the contribution. Switzerland carried out a thorough examination of the utility and sustainability of the projects that were submitted.  Thirteen thematic funds (bundling individual projects in certain areas) and 28 individual projects, to be implemented by December 2019, were approved in all.

Each of the selected projects pursues one of the following objectives:

  • Promoting economic growth and improving working conditions:
    Switzerland is providing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with easier access to long-term investment capital, is improving their competitiveness and is involved in the fields of vocational education and training and research.
  • Improving social security:
    The enlargement contribution helps improve the living conditions of disadvantaged population groups (such as Roma) and basic healthcare.
  • Protecting the environment:
    Renovations to improve energy efficiency and the sustainable disposal of hazardous waste are key priorities.
  • Improving public safety:
    Switzerland pays particular attention to combating corruption, organised crime and human trafficking.
  • Strengthening civil society:
    The enlargement contribution supports numerous partnership projects as well as projects implemented by non-governmental organisations (NGOs).     

In a referendum in November 2006, the Swiss electorate approved the Eastern  Europe Cooperation  Act, which is also the legal basis for the enlargement contribution to the new EU member states. In addition to the contribution to Bulgaria and Romania, as part of the enlargement contribution Switzerland is also providing a total of CHF 1 billion for projects in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta. More than 200 projects scheduled for completion by July 2017 are currently being implemented in these countries.

Contact/enquiries:

FDFA Information
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Email : info@eda.admin.ch

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Ulrich Stürzinger 
Head of New EU Member States (NMS) Division
Tel.: 058 462 22 13
Tel.: 078 756 53 09

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
Hugo Bruggmann 
Head of Enlargement Contribution/Cohesion Section 
Tel: +41 58 462 37 64
Tel: +41 79 726 74 13

 


Further information:

EU enlargement 2004 and 2007


Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47
E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Publisher:

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs