Greater cooperation with Slovakia

Press releases, 19.09.2023

Switzerland and Slovakia have signed a bilateral agreement on 19 September 2023 on the implementation of the second Swiss contribution to selected EU member states. Switzerland will support programmes in Slovakia in the areas of vocational training, sustainable tourism and healthcare amounting to CHF 44.2 million. This means that all 13 bilateral implementation agreements for the second Swiss contribution to strengthen cohesion are under wraps.

State Secretary and Director of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Helene Budliger Artieda, and the Slovak State Secretary of the Ministry of Investment, Regional Development and Digitalisation, Barbora Lukáčová, signed the last remaining bilateral cohesion agreement of the second Swiss contribution in Bratislava. The necessary basis now exists with all 13 EU partner states to develop the agreed programmes in detail and implement them by the end of 2029.

The cooperation programme with Slovakia takes account of the country’s current needs and aims to strengthen Swiss-Slovak partnerships in areas where Switzerland can offer a clear added value based on its experience and expertise. These areas include sustainable tourism and biodiversity protection, vocational training and healthcare. Switzerland’s contribution of CHF 44.2 million will be supplemented by CHF 7.8 million from Slovakia.

Adapting vocational training to private sector requirements
With respect to promoting sustainable tourism in and around national parks and protected areas, Switzerland can support Slovakia with experience and expertise to seek and implement long-term solutions. This includes upgrading existing structures in national parks in an environmentally responsible manner while paying particular attention to measures to protect biodiversity.

A further focus is on vocational education and training. To make practice-based education in Slovakia more attractive, it should become more widely accessible and flexible in structure and be better aligned with the needs of the labour market.

The third area in which Switzerland can support Slovakia is healthcare. Slovakia has one of the lowest life expectancy rates in Europe. Switzerland will work with Slovakia to strengthen the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and promote health.

Agreements with all 13 partner states to strengthen cohesion
The second Swiss contribution is an investment in security, stability and prosperity in Europe. It aims to strengthen cohesion, reduce economic and social disparities and support countries under migratory pressure. The programmes are implemented by SECO, the SDC and SEM. Through this second contribution, Switzerland can enhance bilateral relations not only with the individual partner countries, but with the EU as a whole.

Address for enquiries:

Lorenz Jakob, SECO Communications
Economic Cooperation and Development
Tel. +41 58 468 60 56

FDFA Communications
Tel. +41 58 460 55 55


Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research