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Swiss Senate Gives Final Approval to EUR 50 M Bulgaria Grant

Date: 08.12.2009

The Swiss Senate has approved a grant of EUR 50 M for Bulgaria as part of Switzerland's contribution to reducing economic and social disparities in an enlarged EU. The Senate followed the Swiss House of Representatives which approved a total grant of EUR 220 M to Romania and Bulgaria in September, despite opposition by the rightwing Swiss People’s Party. EUR 170 M will go to Romania and EUR 50 M to Bulgaria.

The money will be used for the promotion of private Swiss companies and for infrastructure and environment projects in Bulgaria.

Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said Switzerland had “every interest in seeing these two countries integrated, because it strengthens stability, security and prosperity on the European continent, from which the Swiss also benefit”.

In early June Switzerland's Federal Council requested the credit facility to be made available to Bulgaria by the Swiss Federal Assembly.

The Swiss Federal Council sent the Dispatch on the Credit Facility for the Enlargement Contribution in favor of Bulgaria and Romania to parliament.

The credit facility is based on the Federal Act on Cooperation with Eastern Europe (FA East) which was approved on 26 November 2006 by the Swiss people.

An official press release from the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in June stated that the successful integration of Bulgaria and Romania into the EU is also in Switzerland's interests. Swiss commitment is therefore not only an expression of solidarity but also promotes its economic and political relations with Bulgaria and Romania and with the EU.

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