The Swiss financial mechanism
Although the Swiss Confederation is not a member state of the European Union, its membership in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) grants the access to the European Union’s unified barrier-free inner market. Due to this, the Swiss Confederations is also obliged to support the European Union, particularly the new member states, by means of financial contributions. These contributions have form of irreclaimable grants to the 10 new member states which joined the EU on May 1st, 2004. The Swiss Confederation is, thus, bound to provide financial resources of 1 billion Swiss francs (616 million Euro) during the following 5 years. According to distribution plan in force, the total sum of 66,866,000 Swiss francs (ca. 41 million Euro) was allocated for the Slovak Republic.
The Swiss Financial Mechanism follows these principles: transparency, social inclusion, equality of chances for men and women, sustainable development of the environment, subsidiarity, decentralisation, commitment of all parties involved.
Individual forms of support are defined by the Swiss Federal Council and will be carried out by pre-defined means of utilisation of the finances from the Swiss Financial Mechanism. Proposed projects will be executed in following ways:
- Individual projects,
- Block projects,
- Scholarship fund, and
- Technical assistance.
Financial assistance applications presented by the economically and socially disadvantaged regions of Slovakia will be given priority. Overall contribution to the reduction of economic and social disparities in the frames of the Slovak Republic will be mostly considered in the process of evaluation of applications.
When dealing with the Swiss Financial Mechanism, the National Coordination Units will be: Cabinet Office of the Slovak Republic and the Department for Management and Implementation of the Swiss Financial Mechanism. The National Coordination Unit takes responsibility for general coordination of implementation of the Swiss Financial Mechanism in Slovakia. Further responsibilities of the National Coordination Unit is, among others, making calls for submission of project proposals, evaluation of projects, recommendation of projects for their selection, and controlling the appropriate use of funds.
Detailed information on the Swiss Financial Mechanism as well as up-to-date calls are published at www.swiss-contribution.sk