The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) estimates that most of the 93 Switzerland-backed “cohesion fund” projects in Bulgaria and Romania were a success.
Projects implemented for Romania and Bulgaria as part of the contribution of Switzerland to European Union enlargement came to an end at the end of 2019. Although Switzerland is not an EU member, it has paid for these two countries of Eastern Europe $257 million in the effort to reduce their economic and social disparities within Europe, like it has for several other new EU members.
On Monday, SECO revealed the results of the Bulgarian and Romanian programs, as was the case with the projects in the other eastern countries.
One focus was on the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency. As a result, Romania’s CO2 emissions have been lowered by 7,000 tons a year, S E C O said.
The settlement of the Roma was other projects. Swiss programs have led to increased access to education and healthcare, according to S E C O, for some 70,000 Roma. Moreover, around 500 small and medium-sized Romanian enterprises have received loans, which will enable them to create or sustain three thousand jobs.
However, three companies have failed, including one to combat money laundering. Because of long delays, the project cannot be completed before the end of 2019 . However, Switzerland was not lost money because the services were always reimbursed locally and later.
The ventures are also in the interest of Switzerland, says SECO, opening up investment opportunities. In addition, as Ruth Huber of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation said on Monday, expansion contributions are an “important part of Switzerland’s s European policy.” Switzerland proved it helps overcome problems in this way, she said.