Protecting the environment

Two workers with measuring instruments in Hungary
Increased use of public transport is helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. © SECO

CHF 479 million of the enlargement contribution is used for environmental protection projects. This includes projects for supporting public transport, drinking water supplies, waste water treatment, energy efficient construction, use of renewable energies and biodiversity.

Switzerland has its own interest in protecting the environment as environmental pollution does not stop at borders. Many of the projects contribute to protecting our climate. To ensure sustainability, Switzerland organises educational trips, seminars and forums as part of the projects where knowledge is exchanged that can be used in the future. The majority of the projects are also infrastructure projects that do not only contribute to protecting the environment, but also reduce health risks, improve living conditions and support economic development. Asbestos removal, for instance, is important in terms of health. The development of the public transport system improves living standards. The use of renewable energies and energy efficient construction reduces electricity and heating costs. Environmental projects thus also provide new future prospects in the partner countries.

Results

Documents (12)

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Switzerland's contribution to the enlarged EU: 2018 Annual Report

Information on the results achieved in the last three remaining country programmes that are still under way, e.g. mine clearance in Croatia, the promotion of SMEs in Romania and decommissioned trams from Basel improving Bulgaria's public transport system. The report also briefly explains the background to the second Swiss contribution to selected EU member countries.



Swiss Enlargement Contribution: Annual Report 2017

The ten countries that joined the EU in 2004 have completed their projects under the enlargement contribu-tion. 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.



Czech republic: Small-scale environmental projects

A Swiss-backed fund supported 33 environmental projects put forward by different municipalities and organisations. For example, the town of Prachatice organised seminars and excursions on the theme of waste separation and composting. Another project breathed new life into the Negrelli Viaduct in Prague, inviting restaurants, shops and exhibitions to open under its arches.




Infrastructure projects in Poland

Thanks to the Swiss-Polish Cooperation Programme, 44,000 families now live in asbestos-free houses. Switzerland contributed CHF 115 million to support energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies in a total of ten projects. In addition, Switzerland funded measures to improve public transport.



Swiss Enlargement Contribution: Annual Report 2016

The report shows the results and the state of progress, e.g. in the dual vocational training programme in Slovakia, the fight against human trafficking in Bulgaria and Romania, the rehabilitation of a port in Latvia, and a venture capital fund in Hungary. In addition, it covers the national programmes which have come to a close in Estonia and Slovenia and presents the new programme in Croatia.



The Swiss Enlargement Contribution

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs present an interim balance sheet on the first five years since the approval of the Enlargement Contribution to the new 10 EU-Member States. The projects are to be implemented within another five year period, i.e., by 2017.



Czech republic: Small-scale environmental projects

A Swiss-backed fund supported 33 environmental projects put forward by different municipalities and organisations. For example, the town of Prachatice organised seminars and excursions on the theme of waste separation and composting. Another project breathed new life into the Negrelli Viaduct in Prague, inviting restaurants, shops and exhibitions to open under its arches.




Infrastructure projects in Poland

Thanks to the Swiss-Polish Cooperation Programme, 44,000 families now live in asbestos-free houses. Switzerland contributed CHF 115 million to support energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies in a total of ten projects. In addition, Switzerland funded measures to improve public transport.




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News (40)

Object 13 – 24 of 40

Sharp drop in infant mortality in Lithuania

A nurse takes care of an infant in an incubator.

22.08.2016 – Article
Thanks to Swiss support, conditions for newborns and mothers in Lithuania have improved greatly. The infant mortality rate has dropped sharply since the nineties. With its enlargement contribution, Switzerland finances modern medical equipment, energy-efficient renovations and further training in healthcare in 27 hospitals.


Wood-generated heat and electricity in Poland

The head of the Lebork district congratulates the city's mayor on the successful completion of the plant and hands him a congratulatory message.

29.06.2016 – Article
Lebork has completed the construction of a heat and power cogeneration plant on schedule and connected it to the city's district heating network. The plant now provides 40% of Lebork's energy needs for hot water and heating. At the same time it generates electricity for the local electricity network.


Parliamentary delegation visits projects in Hungary

Delegation with mobile protection dam

04.05.2016 – Article
A delegation of Swiss MPs visited two projects from the Swiss-Hungarian cooperation programme in April 2016. Representatives from the Hungarian authorities showed their visitors how they use the measurement and analysis equipment and the protection dams co-financed by Switzerland.  


Basel Trams for Sofia

Old tram in the Bulgarian capital Sofia

10.12.2015 – 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.


Successful end to energy projects in Slovenia

Simonetta Sommaruga with Janez Fajfar, mayor of Bled, Alenka Smerkolj, Minister for Development and Cohesion, and Rok Šimenc, Director of BSC Kranj, at the wrap-up event for the REAAL project.

30.09.2015 – Article

Slovenia received CHF 22 million as part of Switzerland's contribution to the enlarged EU. Almost half of this was devoted to two projects relating to renewable energies and sustainable energy use.  The projects raised awareness of these issues among around 5,000 teachers and students, and 41 schools are now heated using renewable energies. The successful end of the project to promote environmentally friendly energy for the Slovenian Alps was celebrated on 16 September 2015 in the presence of President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta Sommaruga.


Wastewater infrastructure: a priority of the enlargement contribution to Slovakia

An excavator digging a trench for sewerage pipes.

04.02.2015 – Article

Funding the wastewater infrastructure is a priority of Switzerland's enlargement contribution to Slovakia. Switzerland is supporting the construction and expansion of six wastewater treatment plants. In addition, a total of 55 kilometres of sewers are being funded. Switzerland's investment contribution amounts to approximately CHF 27 million. Some 10,000 people in nine municipalities will benefit from these investments.


Federal Council opens consultation on the continuation of the Federal Act on Cooperation with the States of Eastern Europe

17.12.2014 – Press release
The Federal Council has opened the consultation on the continuation of the Federal Act on Cooperation with the States of Eastern Europe (Eastern Europe Cooperation Act). The current act is still valid until the end of May 2017. A timely prolongation should enable the seamless continuation of cooperation with the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The consultation will last until 31 March 2015.


End of commitment period for enlargement contribution to Bulgaria and Romania

A man standing in front of a machine using a remote control.

08.12.2014 – Press release
The commitment period of the enlargement contribution for Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the EU in 2007, ended on 7 December. In all, 13 thematic funds and 28 projects totalling CHF 257 million were approved. The Swiss commitment aims to eradicate social and economic disparities in the enlarged European Union (EU).


Czech Republic: Selected improvements to the tram system in Ostrava

Tram stop in Ostrava

14.10.2014 – Article
On 26 September 2014, a project was inaugurated in Ostrava – the third-largest city in the Czech Republic – in which selected improvements were made to the city's tram network to enhance the service and level of comfort of public transport. The project was financed by the Swiss contribution to the enlarged European Union. This support made it possible to improve the management of the tram lines and passenger safety.


Breath-taking and waterproof: environmental monitoring in Estonia

Researchers with echo-sounder on the Estonian research vessel "Salme".

30.07.2014 – Local news

Thanks to a Swiss contribution totalling CHF 8.5 million, Estonian laboratories and environmental monitoring stations are able to procure modern equipment and train their staff. During project visits, Estonian experts demonstrated their ability to reliably monitor air and water quality across large areas with their new equipment.


Swiss heat pumps for the Julian Alps

Heating plant Aubrugg

06.06.2014 – Press release

Switzerland is working in Slovenia within the framework of its enlargement contribution on two infrastructure projects in the field of energy. The realisation of such projects has led on the one hand to the building of new infrastructure – for example new solar panels, heat pumps or biomass boilers – and on the other to the creation of one single platform through which Swiss firms can enter the Slovenian market and forge contacts with local firms more easily. Switzerland is thus actively promoting the transfer of knowledge in the area of energy efficiency and fostering greater cooperation between Swiss and Slovenian project partners.


CHF 190 million for a sustainable energy policy

Child on a bike in front of the school building in Rakvere

18.03.2014 – Article
Switzerland is supporting a sustainable energy policy in six partner countries with around CHF 190 million from its enlargement contribution. In Estonia, for example, the contribution is being used to make the design of three preschools and a home for the elderly more energy efficient. Four Estonian communities showcased their building projects on 14 March 2014. In February 2014, Switzerland approved a project to institutionalise the energy city label in Romania.

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Videos (10)

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Publisher 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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Publications (7)

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Switzerland's contribution to the enlarged EU: 2018 Annual Report

Information on the results achieved in the last three remaining country programmes that are still under way, e.g. mine clearance in Croatia, the promotion of SMEs in Romania and decommissioned trams from Basel improving Bulgaria's public transport system. The report also briefly explains the background to the second Swiss contribution to selected EU member countries.



Swiss Enlargement Contribution: Annual Report 2017

The ten countries that joined the EU in 2004 have completed their projects under the enlargement contribu-tion. 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.



Swiss Enlargement Contribution: Annual Report 2016

The report shows the results and the state of progress, e.g. in the dual vocational training programme in Slovakia, the fight against human trafficking in Bulgaria and Romania, the rehabilitation of a port in Latvia, and a venture capital fund in Hungary. In addition, it covers the national programmes which have come to a close in Estonia and Slovenia and presents the new programme in Croatia.




Czech republic: Small-scale environmental projects

A Swiss-backed fund supported 33 environmental projects put forward by different municipalities and organisations. For example, the town of Prachatice organised seminars and excursions on the theme of waste separation and composting. Another project breathed new life into the Negrelli Viaduct in Prague, inviting restaurants, shops and exhibitions to open under its arches.




The Swiss Enlargement Contribution

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs present an interim balance sheet on the first five years since the approval of the Enlargement Contribution to the new 10 EU-Member States. The projects are to be implemented within another five year period, i.e., by 2017.


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