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Program for Cooperation between Switzerland and Bulgaria

The program is a part of Switzerland's efforts to contribute to decreasing the economical and social gaps in the extended European Union. Since 2007 Switzerland has been helping all EU members countries which have joined the union since 2004.

In 2011 Bulgaria and Switzerland signed a Framework Agreement between the two countries which settles the subject and apllication of the Swiss financial contribution to Bulgaria specifically. Its value is 76 million Swiss francs and shall be implemented in the form of projects and programs which Switzerland shall manage on location, with co-funding expected from the Bulgarian side. Switzerland is taking part in areas where Bulgaria has announced the greatest need for advancing and where Switzerland has a competitive advantage (for example, expert knowledge).

The priority support areas and Swiss funding for them are as follows:

  1. Security, stability and reform support
    • Funding with a total amount of 26,7 million Swiss francs;
    • Managed by the Swiss side;
    • Differentiated thematic funds:
      • "Security, Stability and Reform Support" Fund - targeted at border issues, migration issues, fighting corruption and organized crime, social security, etc. Funding - approximately 9,8 million Swiss francs.
      • Fund for reforms related to the civil society and inclusion of roma and other vulnerable groups - approximately 17 million Swiss francs - projects in the following areas shall be supported:
        • Conservation of nature and sustainable development of rural areas (the project and its partners are pre-defined in the Framework Agreement. No call for project proposals is expected on the subject. The project shall fund NGOs delivering social services or solving environmental problems;
        • Small NGO projects (a call for project proposals from NGOs and other organizations shall be announced for small projects of value from 10,000 to 250,000 Swiss francs, most of all in the environment preservation and social activities areas);
        • Social inclusion of roma and other vulnerable groups, with accents on:
          • integration of roma and other vulnerable groups - a pilot project followed by 2-3 big projects shall be implemented. Some of the partners (government institutions) are pre-defined. NGOs and chitalishte shall be included additionally. The announcement of a call for proposals in pre-defined areas is possible.
          • empowerment and informing - targeted at leadership, successful careers, access to higher education, media campaigns. Bulgarian-Swiss partnerships shall be formed.
          • home patronage services - for elderly people, people with disabilities and specific needs of the roma community. Partners on the Bulgarian side are the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and the Bulgarian Red Cross.
  2. Environment and infrastructure
    • Funding for a total amount of 27.4 million Swiss francs;
    • Managed by the Bulgarian side;
    • Two areas shall be supported with priority: 1. Waste management and recycling; 2. Energy efficiency and introduction of renewable energy sources.
  3. Supporting the private sector
    • Managed by the Bulgarian side;
    • Discussions and identification of projects are forthcoming. Projects in two areas shall be supported:
      • improving the financial reporting capacity on a national level and reduction of corruption and the misappropriation when working with public orders - approximately 1,5 million Swiss francs;
      • supporting export by the Bulgarian small and medium enterprises and application of standards - approximately 1,5 million Swiss francs.
  4. Development of human resource and social activities
    • Funding in the total amount of 6 million Swiss francs;
    • Managed by the Swiss side;
    • Differentiated thematic fund:
      • Development fund - approximately 4 million Swiss francs. The fund shall support academic exchange through scolarships and aid Bulgarian-Swiss research through mutual research projects.
      • „Consolidation of Partnership and Expert Aid" fund - approximately 0,6 million Swiss francs - projects in the following areas shall be supported:
        • Stimulating the social dialog and improving the labor conditions for the employed.
        • Малки mutual activities of institutional partners. Calls for project proposals shall be announced.
        • Short-term financial consulting by Swiss experts - supporting Bulgarian institutions and NGOs. Calls for project proposals shall be announced.

Financial support for developing project proposals shall be provided under the program - for example, applicability research, evaluations of the impact on the environment, etc. through a "Technical Support" differentiated fund.