Switzerland and the countries of the ex-Yugoslavia have a longstanding special relationship due to the migration of people from that region to work in Switzerland. Consequently, a large number of people from Bosnia and Herzegovina sought refuge in Switzerland during and after the war.
For Switzerland as for other countries of Europe, the stabilization of the region is a political objective necessary to ensure peace. Likewise, economic recovery is an important aim, being a precondition for social and political regional integration through trade and, eventually, for joining the European Union.
History of the Swiss Cooperation Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina
During the war, from 1991 up to 1995, Switzerland contributed EUR 96.6 million for emergency assistance and humanitarian aid in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. From 1996 to 1998, a special programme for Bosnia and Herzegovina was implemented with a focus on humanitarian aid and reconstruction.
On the basis of experience gained in the humanitarian phase and with partly the same implementation structure, a first mid-term programme for Bosnia and Herzegovina was developed in 1999. It shifted emphasis from humanitarian aid to longer-term development cooperation under the overall goal of transition and reconciliation. The sheer numbers of refugees and displaced persons, together with the need to stabilize the region, put Bosnia and Herzegovina high on the Swiss political agenda. Therefore, EUR 33.3 million were earmarked for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Medium-Term Programme 2000-2003 of SDC and SECO bundled the multitude of activities started under the special programme into various domains focusing on improvements in the social and economic situation and supporting institutional reforms.
The Medium-Term Programme 2004-2008 essentially carried on the overall goals and strategies of the former programme. However, the programme was focused on fewer and more focused domains and themes.
The SDC and SECO Cooperation Strategy 2009-2012 has been designed to capitalise on acquired sector and country expertise and related networks as well as to profit from past investments made and stretegic assets accumulated-but also opens up promissing vnues. It is in line with relevant national documents, as the National Development Strategy 2008 - 2013 complemented by a Social Inclusion Strategy.
All activities are coordinated by the Swiss Cooperation Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
If you want to know more about Swiss Cooperation in Bosnia and Herzegovina see:
For a list of programmes and projects see: Projects