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The Swiss contribution in brief

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In 2004 the European Union embarked on the biggest expansion in its history. Eight previously communist countries in central and eastern Europe as well as Cyprus and Malta joined the EU. Three additional countries – Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia – followed in 2007 and 2013.
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This 'eastern enlargement' made the EU the largest economic area in the world. The number of EU member states rose from 15 to 28, and the total population grew from some 400 million to over 500 million.

However, large economic and social disparities remain between old and new EU countries. For example, in the year following the eastern enlargement, GDP per capita in some of the new member states was less than half the EU average. Cohesion – harmonious development in Europe – continues to face major challenges, some of which are new, particularly in migration and youth unemployment.

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The EU is therefore making great efforts to strengthen cohesion within Europe and has earmarked almost a third of its total budget for this purpose. Switzerland has also made financial contributions since 2007, although these account for less than 1% of the EU's funding. Switzerland's participation does not form part of the EU's cohesion policy. Switzerland agrees on the projects and programmes with the individual partner countries and makes its own funding decisions autonomously.
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The Swiss contribution is an investment in Europe's security, stability and prosperity. It also strengthens Switzerland's bilateral ties with individual EU member states and the EU as a whole.

The second Swiss contribution amounts to CHF 1,302 million and will be implemented in 2019–29.
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Objective 1
Promote economic growth and social partnership and reduce unemployment

Objective 2
Manage migration with greater integration and increase public security

Objective 3
Protect the environment and climate

Objective 4
Strengthen social and health systems

Objective 5
Promote civic engagement and transparency
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CHF 1,102 million has been earmarked for the reduction of economic and social disparities in the countries that joined the EU since 2004.

50% of this will go towards structurally weak regions in the larger partner countries.
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CHF 200 million has been earmarked for the area of migration. These funds will be used to address challenges in the EU member states particularly affected by migration.
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The second Swiss contribution follows on from what was known as the enlargement contribution, under which Switzerland supported some 300 projects in the new EU member states from 2007. In an independent evaluation, this first Swiss contribution scored well for relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability.
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