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.


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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SDC supports municipal autonomy and political participation in Kosovo

A young man holding a microphone in his hand, listening intently to the discussion.

01.01.2014 - 28.02.2018

Since independence in 2008, Kosovo has been moving to reform and decentralise its administration. Local self-administration in the 38 municipalities is to be expanded. The SDC project "Decentralisation and Municipal Support" (DEMOS) supports 17 municipalities in improving their public services.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights

01.01.2014 - 28.02.2018

CHF  12’820’000

Rural Water and Sanitation Support Programme Kosovo (RWSSP V)

01.11.2013 - 30.06.2018

Since 2005, the Swiss Rural Water and Sanitation Support Programme has provided access to safe drinking water and sanitation to more than 150,000 people living in rural area. The programme is building infrastructure, strengthening managing capacity, and developing the sector framework conditions. It is expected that by 2017, 320,000 people will benefit and that the Regional Water Companies maintain effectively the water networks.

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

01.09.2013 - 31.08.2023

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.

Enhancing Youth Employability (EYE) – 27,000 New Jobs for Young Men and Women in Kosovo

Agricultural school in Pristina, vocational Education Support Project 2011

01.08.2010 - 31.12.2016

In order to improve the market opportunities for young Kosovar women and men, the EYE program facilitates a matching of demand and supply sides of the labour market. Adequate training and education is available to meet the requirements of the private sector. The job seekers are enabled to access vacant positions and make informed decisions about their career paths. Furthermore, the EYE project promotes focused private sector investments in relevant subsectors that lead to growth of employment opportunities for young people. The approach taken by the project aims to bring about systemic change in matching demand and supply leading to large-scale and sustainable impact on the target group.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Employment & economic development
Employment creation

01.08.2010 - 31.12.2016

CHF  8’045’000

Kosovo: Corporate Development Support for Wastewater Sector

01.08.2019 - 31.12.2022

On its path to achieving EU candidate status, Kosovo aims to comply with EU standards. Only 2% of its wastewater is currently treated, which results in contaminated rivers and groundwater. SECO can capitalize on previous Swiss achievements for supporting the capacity and corporate development in Kosovo?s wastewater sector.

Swiss Entrepreneurship Program, Phase II

01.07.2019 - 30.06.2023

The Swiss Entrepreneurship Program supports entrepreneurs in developing their growth-oriented businesses. They are the key drivers of innovation, economic growth and job creation.

IFC Debt Resolution Program, Phase II

01.11.2017 - 31.03.2022

The Debt Resolution Program contributes to effective debt management frameworks in Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo.

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.

Europe and Central Asia : PPP Transaction Advisory Program

01.06.2011 - 31.12.2022

The ECA Program, managed by the International Finance Corporation IFC, is providing infrastructure transaction advisory and capacity building services to the public sector authorities to promote Public-Private Partnerships in Southeastern Europe and Central Asia.

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