Switzerland supports reforms in Kosovo to facilitate its European and regional integration. The main areas of cooperation relate to the promotion of democracy and economic development and improvements to infrastructure.

Map of Kosovo

In 2008, the Kosovar parliament declared the independence of the province under UN administration. As a new nation-state, it still faces many challenges, which delay its accession to the EU. While the institutions for a democratic framework are now in place, they are not yet used systematically. The economy remains weak and unemployment high, contributing to the country’s growing social disparities. Moreover, relations between the Albanian majority and the Serb minority are still strained, although the representation of the latter in the government is guaranteed.

Democratic governance and human security

Political and administrative decentralisation is a key to peaceful co-existence in Kosovo. Switzerland supports the development of local administrations that provide high-quality services in regard to transparency, reliability and efficiency. It also encourages active citizen and civil society engagement in policy-making processes. At the national level, the focus is on inclusive institutions as key enablers of social cohesion, especially in relation to dealing with the past and the dialogue with Serbia.

State and Economic Reforms

Economy and employment

Switzerland’s main cooperation objectives in Kosovo include a dynamic private sector that can offer attractive career prospects and good working conditions. This means developing work skills and entrepreneurship, particularly among young people. To help achieve this, Switzerland invests in vocational training that is geared to the labour market. Career guidance and job placement programmes also increase the likelihood of jobseekers finding work and of companies finding the staff they need. Furthermore, Switzerland supports Kosovo in improving its business regulations and investment framework in order to foster a more attractive investment climate. Switzerland is currently considering additional support aimed at reducing the amount of non-performing loans in Kosovo’s banking system, with the view to free blocked assets and allow their reassignment to more productive use and thus contribute to job creation.

Private Sector Development and financial services

Basic education and vocational training

Water and climate change

The main objective is to ensure access to high-quality and affordable water and sanitation services that improve livelihoods. Switzerland works towards this by fostering policy dialogue, by strengthening the institutions managing and governing the water sector, and by investing in drinking water networks, sanitation systems and wastewater treatment facilities. It also raises general awareness about responsible water usage. In addition, public services are encouraged to participate in efforts to protect the environment and mitigate the impact of climate change.


Climate change and the environment


Switzerland contributes to modernising Kosovo’s health services by supporting the introduction of a mandatory basic healthcare insurance scheme. At the local level, the programme aims to improve healthcare by fostering capacity building among medical staff and encouraging citizens to access the services available. Particular attention is placed on the needs of disadvantaged or excluded groups. Other focus areas are the prevention of non-communicable diseases and awareness of healthy lifestyle behaviours among the population.



Switzerland has had a migration partnership with Kosovo since 2010. The programme aims to build capacities among Kosovo’s migration authorities with a set of targeted measures in migration policy and management. It also seeks to counter migratory flows by improving the social inclusion of marginalised groups, who are among those more inclined to migrate. Meanwhile, Kosovo’s diaspora contributes to the country’s social and economic development.


Organisation and partners

The 2017-2020 cooperation strategy is implemented jointly by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the FDFA’s Human Security Division (HSD).

Switzerland's main partners in Kosovo:

  • National partners: ministries and local governments, local civil society organisations, e.g. Community Development Initiatives, Voice of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians

  • Swiss NGOs, e.g. Helvetas/Swiss Intercooperation, Swiss Church Aid (HEKS/EPER), Swisscontact

  • International companies and NGOs

  • Multilateral organisations, e.g. World Bank, IMF, UNDP

  • Private sector and think tanks

Current projects

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Decentralization and Municipal Support in Kosovo (DEMOS)

Two young people rollerblading on a cycle path..

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021

Since the declaration of independence in 2008, Kosovo has been engaged in the reform and decentralisation of its public authorities with the aim of strengthening autonomy and local democracy in its 38 municipalities. The SDC's “Decentralisation and Municipal Support” project (DEMOS) aims to help municipalities enhance democratic governance and municipal management and provide better public services, thereby supporting Kosovo in its transition to a democratic and decentralised state.

Country/region Period Budget

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021

CHF 12'800'000

An attractive labour market for young Kosovars

A young man working on an electrical system.

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020

The project « Enhancing Youth Employment » is aimed at improving job opportunities for young people in Kosovo, a population segment particularly impacted by unemployment. By connecting employers and job seekers, and by training young people in the skills in demand on the labour market, the project is helping to reduce unemployment and drive economic growth.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Economy and Employment
Labor market development
Vocational training
Employment policy and administrative management

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2020

CHF 7'570'000

Combating corruption in Kosovo

Four young developers sitting at a table discussing IT solutions designed to help the municipality create more transparency.

01.05.2016 - 30.04.2020

Corruption is rampant among Kosovo’s public institutions and undermines citizens’ trust in the system. The SDC is supporting a project designed to address this problem by promoting transparency in institutions and encouraging citizens to report abuses.

Country/region Period Budget

01.05.2016 - 30.04.2020

CHF 2'855'500

Improving access to good-quality healthcare services in Kosovo

A nurse giving a prescription to a patient in a primary healthcare centre.

01.11.2013 - 31.12.2019

The standard of healthcare provision in Kosovo is inadequate and does not meet the needs of the general population. Vulnerable groups are particularly affected, with a number of economic and social barriers limiting their access to care. That is why the SDC is working to improve the quality and inclusivity of the primary healthcare system in Kosovo.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Health system strengthening
Health policy and administrative management

01.11.2013 - 31.12.2019

CHF 7'190'000

Planned project

Support to Integrated Water Resource Management in Kosovo

01.10.2018 - 30.04.2031

The water resources in Kosovo are increasingly under threat from pollution and rising demand for water for farming, industry and growing urban centers. Climate change is projected to exacerbate the impact on the availability of water resources as well as increase the risk for flood related disasters. The program supports different stakeholders in Kosovo at the national, regional and local level to tackle these complex pressures in establishing an integrated water resources management approach.

Rural Water and Sanitation Support Programme in Kosovo

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2020

Since 2005, the Swiss Rural Water and Sanitation Support Programme has provided better access to safe drinking water and sanitation to 474’000 people living in rural areas. By further strengthening the capacities of the water companies and their oversight bodies and with targeted infrastructure investments, the RWSSP exit phase will contribute to a sustainable and socially inclusive provision of high-quality water and sanitation services. For the first time the program will include the Northern municipalities of Kosovo.

Social inclusion and improvement of living conditions for Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians and other vulnerable groups in Kosovo

01.06.2017 - 31.12.2019

In order to improve the social inclusion of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians (RAE) in Kosovo, the single phase project will develop their livelihoods through ensuring better access to educational opportunities, enhanced children rights and protection, upgraded housing conditions and more income generation prospects. The project will complement these grassroots activities with policy interventions, in the education and child protection components, to ensure ownership and sustainability through institutionalization.

Swisscontact (Kredit Ost)

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2018

Swisscontact veut élargir son rôle en tant que moteur de la promotion du secteur privé dans les pays en développement. A cette fin, Swisscontact repose son programme sur les axes d’intervention suivants : formation professionnelle et renforcement des capacités, promotion des petites et moyennes entreprises, facilitation de l’accès aux services financiers et promotion de l’utilisation efficace des ressources.

Improving Financial Protection and Quality of Care (Contribution to a World Bank Hybrid Trust Fund)

01.09.2013 - 31.08.2020

Kosovo has initiated a wide-ranging health sector reform, a cornerstone of which is the introduction of the mandatory health insurance. Given the complexity of the reforms, technical support will be crucial in assisting an effective implementation. Moreover, a better informed targeting of public subsidies will protect poor people from either foregoing health care or being impoverished due to out of pocket payments for health care in case of ill health.

Multi-Country Investment Climate Program

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2024

The Multi-Country Investment Climate Program (MCICP) supports investment climate reform advisory in a total of 20 SECO partner countries. It is implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a globally recognized leader in this field.

Wastewater treatment plant Peja with KfW

01.11.2015 - 31.12.2020

SECO is consolidating its support to the wastewater sector in Kosovo. The construction of a wastewater treatment plant in Peja is the second project of this kind SECO is co-financing with Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) in Kosovo. The project involves investment measures and institutional strengthening, as well as policy dialogue.

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