Switzerland and Estonia conclude bilateral Cooperation Programme

Article, 21.11.2022

On 21 November 2022, the Swiss Ambassador and the Estonian Minister of Finance signed the Implementation Agreement for the Swiss-Estonian Cooperation Programme under the second Swiss Contribution to selected EU member States. Switzerland will co-finance with 26 million Swiss francs two programmes aiming at fostering integration and social inclusion and the second at safeguarding of the biodiversity.

The second Swiss Contribution sets out to strengthen cohesion in Europe and supports countries that face exceptional migration challenges. The Implementation Agreement signed on 21 November in Tallinn will pave the way for a new Swiss-Estonian Cooperation Programme. Of the overall contribution of 26 million Swiss francs, an amount of 18.6 million Swiss francs is earmarked for integration and social inclusion. 6.9 million Swiss francs are reserved for safeguarding bio-diversity.

Shared interests of Switzerland and Estonia

At the signing, Swiss Ambassador Martin Michelet underlined the ambition of deepening bilateral relations with the partner countries: “The potential for Swiss-Estonian cooperation is huge, and we can learn a lot from each other. The second Swiss Contribution will create momentum and provide an entry point for many further areas of collaboration.” As the war in Ukraine is causing millions of people to flee their country, Estonia’s Finance Minister, Annely Akkermann, emphasized the challenge of supporting and integrating people seeking protection. She further highlighted the focus on taking action to counter climate change and preserve biodiversity: "Switzerland and Estonia have a shared interest in addressing the global challenges, and Swiss support for succeeding in these joint endeavours is even more important than the provision of funding."

The social inclusion programme will focus on the integration of migrants and refugees, including war refugees from Ukraine, and enhance possibilities of integration into local societies. The biodiversity programme seeks to contribute to the improvement and preservation of the conservation status of species and habitats through a decision-making process that relies on high-quality data, including innovative monitoring solutions.

Second Swiss Contribution

The second Swiss Contribution has a total value of CHF 1.302 billion and a duration of ten years until 3 December 2029. On June 30 2022, Switzerland and the EU signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Brussels, specifying key parameters of the contribution, such as the amount, its distribution among the partner countries, thematic priorities and principles for cooperation and implementation.