SOFIA (Bulgaria), Sept. 20 (SeeNews) – Bulgaria will receive financial support of 92.5 million Swiss francs (95.6 million US dollars/95.9 million euros) from Switzerland after the two countries announced on Tuesday have signed a framework agreement for renewed cooperation by the end of 2029. said the Bulgarian interim government.
The funds will be made available under a cohesion mechanism for Swiss contributions to selected EU member states, with Bulgaria becoming the first of 13 countries to end negotiations with an agreement, the government said in a statement.
In this second Bulgarian-Swiss cooperation programme, Swiss support is organized through nine local programs in the fields of education, training, culture, environment and civil society. The scholarships are not cumulated with other types of funding.
Up to CHF 5 million will be paid out to promote dual vocational training to reduce youth unemployment.
Scientific research and development is being funded through the SCIEX and PROMYS programs with around CHF 10 million, while a total of CHF 9.2 million is earmarked for security and migration-related initiatives such as the prevention of crime and human trafficking. and the fight against corruption.
Environmental goals such as improving air quality, waste management, energy efficiency and nature conservation will be supported with a total of 45 million Swiss francs, while initiatives in healthcare, health prevention and the integration of vulnerable groups will be supported with 11.5 million Swiss francs. Up to CHF 10 million will be made available to promote civic engagement.
In 2010 the first agreement for a bilateral cooperation program between Bulgaria and Switzerland was signed. By 2019, 66 projects and 118 organizations had been financed with a total of CHF 76 million.
The second Swiss contribution, managed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), sees the provision of total grants of CHF 1.302 billion between 2019 and 2029 for 13 EU member states – Bulgaria – , Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
(1 Swiss franc = $1,034/1,037 euros)