All implementation agreements signed, first projects launched

Article, 19.09.2023

Switzerland and Slovakia have signed the bilateral agreement on 19 September 2023 on the implementation of the second Swiss contribution to selected EU member states. Switzerland has thus signed the bilateral implementation agreements for the cohesion part with all partner countries of the second Swiss contribution. The implementation phase now follows.

State Secretary Helene Budliger Artieda and Slovak State Secretary Barbora Lukáčová sign the last implementation agreement from the Cohesion part.
State Secretary Helene Budliger Artieda and Slovak State Secretary Barbora Lukáčová sign the last implementation agreement from the Cohesion part. © SDC/SECO

State Secretary and Director of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Helene Budliger Artieda, and the Slovak State Secretary of the Ministry of Investment, Regional Development and Digitalisation, Barbora Lukáčová, signed the last remaining bilateral cohesion agreement of the second Swiss contribution in Bratislava. The necessary basis now exists with all 13 EU partner states to develop the agreed programmes in detail and implement them by the end of 2029.

The second Swiss contribution is an investment in security, stability and prosperity in Europe. It aims to strengthen cohesion, reduce economic and social disparities and support countries under migratory pressure. The programmes are implemented by SECO, the SDC and SEM. Through this second contribution, Switzerland can enhance bilateral relations not only with the individual partner countries, but with the EU as a whole.

Article, 23.10.2023

On 19 October, the closing conference of the Croatian-Swiss Research Programme (CSRP), organised by the Croatian Science Foundation HRZZ, took place in Zagreb. The CSRP initiative aims to promote scientific cooperation between Switzerland and Croatia and is in implementation from 2017 until the end of 2023.

Ambassador Urs Hammer speaks at the conference.
Ambassador Urs Hammer underlined the importance of scientific cooperation for Switzerland. © SDC

The conference opened with an inspiring keynote speech by Professor Marcel Tanner, former President of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, on the contribution of research to reducing social and economic disparities.

Professor Ozren Polašek, Director of the Croatian Science Foundation, said at the conference: "The cooperation with Switzerland was excellent. The joint work with the Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF showed us a lot about the culture of science funding and the monitoring of joint grants."

In his speech, Swiss Ambassador Urs Hammer spoke about how important scientific cooperation is for Switzerland and pointed out that Switzerland is still excluded from the Horizon Europe programme.

This conference marks the end of the research programs  under the Swiss enlargement contribution. New initiatives under the second Swiss contribution are currently being developed, in particular a call which will fund research collaborations amongst researchers from a number of EU Countries (including Croatia) and Switzerland. Programs in the health, civic engagement and water sectors will also be supported.