The Federal Council is sending a request to the Federal Assembly for a credit facility of CHF 257m over a commitment period of five years for Switzerland’s contribution for Bulgaria and Romania to reducing economic and social disparities in an enlarged EU. CHF 76m is earmarked for Bulgaria and CHF 181m for Romania. The credit facility is based on the Federal Act on Cooperation with Eastern Europe (FA East) which was approved on 26 November 2006 by the Swiss people.
On 1 January 2007 the European Union (EU) welcomed Bulgaria and Romania as new member states. The successful integration of Bulgaria and Romania into the EU is also in Switzerland’s interests. Swiss commitment is therefore not only an expression of solidarity but also promotes its economic and political relations with Bulgaria and Romania and with the EU.
As with the existing enlargement contribution to the EU states that joined in 2004 (EU 10), the contribution for Bulgaria and Romania is implemented autonomously by Switzerland. The most important requirements and principles were drawn up between the European Commission and the Council of the European Union on the one hand and Switzerland on the other in the political declaration of intent of 25 June 2008. The funds will be used to finance projects and programmes in the following four major areas: security, stability and support for reforms; environment and infrastructure; promotion of the private sector; and human and social development.
Implementation of the enlargement contribution of CHF 1bn to the EU 10 is going according to plan: as at the end of May 2009 the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) have approved some 30 projects at a total cost of CHF 120.7m including the fund for technical back-up and the preparation of projects. Detailed arrangements are currently being made for 26 provisionally approved projects at a total cost of CHF 108.1m.
For further information:
Information FDFA, Tel. : 031 322 31 53; e-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Markus Spörndli, SECO, Communications Officer, Economic Cooperation and Development, Tel. ++41 (0)31 324 09 10
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