Second Swiss Contribution to selected EU member states

Logo of the Second Swiss Contribution to Bulgaria
Logo of the Second Swiss Contribution to Bulgaria © SECO

Programme Operator of the Swiss-Bulgarian Civic Engagement and Transparency Facility (CETF) selected

SDC has successfully completed the selection procedure for a Programme Operator of the CETF in Bulgaria. The evaluation panel has evaluated the four tenders submitted on the basis of the published criteria in the Tender document.

The contract was awarded to consortium BILSP-BCNL-INNOVABRIDGE (Balkan Institute for Labour and Social Policy – Bulgarian Center for Not-for-Profit Law – INNOVABRIDGE). The tenderer was evaluated as the most advantageous and received the highest scores for the award criteria (AC).

The received proposals have been checked against formal requirements, eligibility criteria, and award criteria. Three out of four tenders were evaluated against 4 AC, namely: AC1. Composition of team, qualification and experience of nominated team; AC 2: Understanding of the programme and general approach; AC 3: Procedure and project organisation; AC 4: Financial proposal.

The most important elements of the decision of the evaluation committee are listed here:

AC1. Composition of team, qualification and experience of nominated team:

  • The Team lead and the composition of the team proposed by the winning consortium had the best matching professional and educational background, institutional reputation, and distribution of roles;
  • The tenderer demonstrated profound knowledge of and an established network within the civil society sector in Bulgaria, participation in relevant national and international networks, a track record in policy making activities, and capacity building of CSOs in particular at grass root;
  • Swiss experiences, skills and approaches are secured by a Swiss partner.

AC 2: Understanding of the programme and general approach:

  • The overall goal and the specific objectives of the CETF are addressed in the most structured and clear way;
  • The general approach and the set-up of the 3 major components of the CETF contained in the proposal are well-established and complementary to one another. The lighthouse projects, the grants scheme and the capacity building components are elaborated in detail and have a specific focus on civic education and participation. One of the proposed lighthouse projects has a particularly convincing policy element.

AC 3: Procedure and project organisation:

  • The selected proposal has the most credible timeline. The proposal offers the most suitable organisational structure, and coherent distribution of responsibilities, with established job descriptions and assigned team members.

AC 4: Financial proposal:

  • The financial offer is the most advantegous and reflects the structure of the proposal.

The basis for this mandate is defined by the Framework Agreement between Switzerland and Bulgaria signed on 20 September 2022: (

SDC will work with the selected PO towards final approval of CETF. A Support measure agreement will be signed with the Bulgarian government in due time.

SDC, April 2024

The second Swiss contribution is an investment in Europe’s security, stability and prosperity. It seeks to strengthen cohesion in Europe and to support countries that face exceptional migration challenges. Through the second contribution, Switzerland is furthermore strengthening and deepening bilateral relations with the EU partner countries and the EU as a whole.

The second Swiss contribution has a total value of CHF 1.302 billion – equal to the amount of the pre-ceding enlargement contribution – and a duration of ten years until the end of 2029. Switzerland has earmarked CHF 1.102 billion for the  EU Member States that have joined the EU since 2004, namely Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The second Swiss contribution was approved by the Swiss Parliament on 3 December 2019 and released on 30 September 2021. On June 30 2022, Switzerland and the EU signed in Brussels a memorandum of understanding (MoU) specifying key parameters of the contribution such as the amount, its distribution among the partner countries, thematic priorities and principles for cooperation and implementation.