Bulgaria – A partner country for Switzerland’s contribution to EU enlargement

The Swiss contribution to Bulgaria amounts to CHF 76 million. Between now and 2019, nine projects and six thematic funds designed to reduce economic and social disparities in Bulgaria are implemented. A Swiss Contribution Office (SCO) has been established in Sofia for the purpose of working closely on project implementation with the National Coordination Unit within the Ministry of Finance.

© 2014 Natural Earth
2014 Natural Earth

Projects in Bulgaria

Switzerland supports 15 projects in Bulgaria with its EU enlargement contribution

Results in Bulgaria

Switzerland uses its enlargement contribution to promote vocational education and training in an effort to reduce youth unemployment, enable care for the elderly following the Swiss Spitex model and ensure that old pesticides are disposed of in an environmentally friendly way

Bilateral Framework Agreement with Bulgaria

Switzerland has concluded a bilateral framework agreement with Bulgaria. Switzerland decides in consultation with Bulgaria and independently of the EU which projects it will support

Thematic Funds in Bulgaria

In Bulgaria the SDC is working with thematic funds in the areas of public security, the participation of civil society and integration of the Roma and other minorities

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Increase the integrity of prosecutors and prosecuting the new challenges in oganized crime



Strengthening the legal and institutional capacity of the judical system in the field of juvenile justice




Prevention of thb and the identification, protection, support, return & reintegration of victims of trafficking









Projects promoting social inclusion of the Roma people and other disadvantaged groups in four EU member states


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2018 annual report on Switzerland's contribution to the enlarged EU

Roma girls

08.05.2019 – Web article
The 2018 annual report on Switzerland's contribution to the enlarged EU presents the results achieved in the last three remaining country programmes that are still under way: mine clearance in Croatia, the promotion of SMEs in Romania and the delivery of decommissioned trams from Basel to Bulgaria. Parliament is currently deciding on the future of the enlargement contribution. In principle, it has approved a second Swiss contribution to selected EU member states.


Strengthening human rights-based policing in Bulgaria

Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer and Bulgarian Minister for the Interior Valentin Radev formally opened the 'Polygon' training centre at the national policy academy in Sofia in 2018.

08.03.2019 – Web article
In response to a series of abuses by the Bulgarian police, the authorities are looking to raise professional standards and roll out a human rights-based approach to policing. The Swiss contribution to the enlarged EU is helping Bulgaria implement this project. 


Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis visits Romania and Bulgaria

Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis observing a young apprentice of a vocational training project during her work.

11.09.2018 – Web article
Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis' trip focused on talks with high-ranking government representatives on bilateral issues, European policy and cooperation to date within the framework of Switzerland's contribution to the enlarged EU. In order to obtain an overview of work on the ground he also visited two projects partly funded by Switzerland's enlargement contribution.


One billion well invested

A man sitting in front of a remediation well at an industrial port

05.06.2018 – Web article
The ten countries that joined the EU in 2004 have completed their projects under the enlargement contribution. SECO and the SDC have taken stock of the last decade and published the results in their 2017 annual report. The projects have made a significant contribution to reducing economic and social disparities in Europe. Switzerland was also able to use its expertise to make a meaningful contribution to a number of projects.


Sustainable integration of Roma through local institutions

Four Roma children pose for the camera.

27.04.2018 – Web article
10% of the Bulgarian population is Roma, but they are almost invisible in public live and are rarely represented in institutions. Most live in deprived urban areas and are socially isolated. Their children are often not in school because there is none nearby. Those who do attend school encounter major difficulties related to discrimination and to learning a new language, and do not complete their education. Access to basic healthcare is also problematic, leading to epidemics and other health issues.


Consultation on a second Swiss contribution

Young man in a Slovakian vocational school.

28.03.2018 –
At its meeting on 28 March 2018, the Federal Council decided to initiate the consultation procedure on a second Swiss contribution to selected EU member states. With this contribution, Switzerland aims to continue to contribute to the reduction of economic and social disparities in the EU member states. Last year, the Federal Council set two priorities for this contribution: vocational education and training and migration.


Linking regional development and nature protection

Four jars containing different kinds of preserves.

20.02.2018 – Web article
Creating jobs and prospects through environmental protection: Switzerland supported this innovative approach in Bulgaria. The project entitled ‘Linking Nature, Protection and Sustainable Rural Development’ promoted, among other things, organic farming methods, regional products and ecotourism in the poorest region of the EU.


Dual education certificate opens career doors for young people in Bulgaria

Three students, two boys and a girl, who holds a certificate, stand in front of their school.

27.11.2017 – Web article

Switzerland supports Bulgaria in implementing a dual vocational education and training system. Based on the close collaboration of private companies, government representatives and vocational schools, the project aims to establish a system that is based on the Swiss model and simultaneously fits the Bulgarian context. In 2017, the first graduates received their diplomas.  


Focus on European policy and bilateral issues during presidential visit to Bulgaria

02.11.2017 – Memorandum
On Thursday, 2 November, President Doris Leuthard, held the now traditional talks with the future EU Council presidency. The themes addressed during the discussions with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, Prime Minister Bojko Borissov and further members of the government included European policy, as well as bilateral and international issues.


Switzerland supports the victims of human trafficking

18.10.2016 – Web article
Europe has appealed for international action against trafficking in humans on 18 October every year since 2007. Switzerland is also committed to the fight against human trafficking through its enlargement contribution. It is supporting Bulgaria and Romania with their efforts aimed at prevention, victim protection, reintegration and improving criminal prosecution.


Basel Trams for Sofia

Old tram in the Bulgarian capital Sofia

10.12.2015 – Web article

Most of the trams in the Bulgarian capital Sofia date back to Soviet times and so need replacing. As Basel is renewing its fleet of trams, the Basel transport operators have 28 modern and well maintained trams that are no longer needed. The cost of sending these trams to Bulgaria is being met by the enlargement contribution.


Sciex research programme comes to an end

a female researcher in a laboratory

28.09.2015 – Web article

The closing ceremony of the Sciex scholarship programme was held on 25 September 2015. Thanks to this programme, more than 500 doctoral and post-doctoral students could visit Switzerland for a limited period to conduct and expand their research. 

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Herausgeber DEZA/SECO

The Swiss contribution in brief

Information on Switzerland’s contribution to the enlarged EU: a brief presentation including project examples.


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