Website of the Cooperation Office (SDC) Kosovo: www.swiss-cooperation.admin.ch/kosovo/
Switzerland supports the young nation of Kosovo in its transition to becoming a democracy that is integrated regionally and within Europe, with a sustainable market economy. Switzerland’s supporting activities focus on good governance and decentralisation, water, work, income and health.
Kosovo declared its independence on 17.2.2008. It is the youngest national state in Europe and is still in the process of state formation. The main challenges facing the nation are the weak economy, high unemployment and the integration of various ethnic groups (Albanians 92%, Bosnians,Gorani, Serbs, Roma, Egyptians, Ashgali, Turks and others) into the state.
Swiss cooperation therefore focuses on strengthening the economy and local government and on drinking water supply and wastewater treatment. In some local districts, several projects are being tackled simultaneously and as a result synergies are being exploited.
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Good governance and decentralisation
Strengthening the public service in municipalities
In recent years the Republic of Kosovo has initiated and implemented various political and economic reforms. Coexistence in the multi-ethnic society and the widespread level of corruption remain major challenges. By promoting good governance and by strengthening local service providers, the SDC is contributing to the democratisation of the country. From 2008 to 2012 it implemented a series of measures to strengthen public services in nine municipalities.
In 2012, in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice, 87 notaries were trained in Kosovo. This means that about 75 notary offices are now open to the people of Kosovo. Other programmes promote cooperation between municipalities, citizen participation in political processes and the continuation of the inter-ethnic dialogue.
Employment and income
Jobs andvocational training places to promote the economy and employment
The unemployment figures in Kosovo are alarming. In 2012 about 45% of people of working age were unemployed. Economic growth and jobs are therefore the priority goal of transition cooperation. Together with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, the SDC has been investing in structural reforms in the private sector and in projects to improve the professional skills and job opportunities of young Kosovars.
As a result of Swiss support, more than 20% more jobs were created in the horticultural sector in 2012, leading to exports of medicinal and aromatic plants with a total value of EUR 4 million. 49% of the trainees at vocational schools supported by Switzerland either found a job or became self-employed after graduating.
About 100,000 people obtained access to drinking water and to waste water treatment
The aim of Swiss cooperation in the area of water and sanitation is to bring about the effective administration of drinking water and wastewater treatment throughout the country. Switzerland supports regional water companies and local municipality committees and plays a central role in the political dialogue about water supply. SDC and SECO have financed access to drinking water and to waste water treatment for 60% of the rural population.
Other projects focus on maintaining existing water infrastructure for example by renovating or replacing poorly maintained or defective pipelines. This improves the efficiency and sustainability of drinking water supplies.
Establishing a sustainable health system
From 2013 onwards, Switzerland will contribute to the establishment of a sustainable health system that provides high quality medical services in the Republic of Kosovo. These services should be especially beneficial for a weak or vulnerable groups in the population such as old people, women or members of Roma communities.
Re-integration and reduction of migration pressure
Switzerland is active in the area of International Migration Cooperation (IMC). The SDC and the Federal Office of Migration (FOM) are working to improve the standard of living of Roma and of other socially disadvantaged groups on the ground. Projects to promote education, the quality of accommodation and professional qualifications help reduce migration pressure in Kosovo. Switzerland is also working with the Kosovar government to support the reintegration process and to promote the potential of the diaspora.
Peace and security
Conflict prevention and stabilisation
The Human Security (HS) section of the Political Directorate of the FDFA actively promotes political dialogue and confidence building. The inclusion and support of minority groups, conflict transformation and transitional justice are important topics in this area.
The Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports, in conjunction with «SWISSCOY», has been involved in the international «Kosovo Force» (KFOR)since October 1999.
History of cooperation
From humanitarian aid to support for transition
Cooperation with what is now the Republic of Kosovo began at the end of the armed conflict in 1998-1999. At that time the focus was on humanitarian aid, reconstruction aid and returned assistance for refugees. At the beginning of 2000, the humanitarian activities and the return assistance were complemented by measures such as reconstruction aid, securing of sustainable livelihoods and culture promotion. Since 2004 transition support has concentrated on political and economic development.
Background information Kosovo
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Local SDC contact address:
Swiss Cooperation Office Kosovo
|Phone||+ 381 38 248 091
|Fax||+ 381 38 248 096|
Here, you will find more publications, links, documents and articles about Swiss development cooperation and humanitarian aid in this country.