SECO’s interventions in Kosovo are complementary to those of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Kosovo declared independence in 2008. The state structures and market economy are still poorly developed. SECO supports the country in building the respective infrastructure and in job creation.
Switzerland recognised Kosovo as a sovereign state in 2008. Nonetheless, Kosovo’s state structures are weak. Installing a democratic culture and an efficient separation of powers with the required checks and balances has been a slow process. Per capita income has grown relatively consistently by 3% p.a. over the past 10 years.
Growing disparities and high unemployment
Nonetheless, economic performance remains weak and unemployment rates, especially for women and young people, are high. This situation also sparks ethnic tensions. Skills training, private sector development and strengthening institutions are therefore crucial to address these challenges. Kosovo displays some worrying circumstances such as low investments, growing disparities and high unemployment.
Moreover, corruption and discrimination of minorities need further attention. In addition, acute levels of air and water pollution pose a threat to public health.
What are SECO’s objectives?
SECO, the SDC, for which Kosovo is a priority country, and the Human Security Division (HSD) jointly define and implement the Swiss Cooperation Strategy in Kosovo. Switzerland supports Kosovo in the following areas: democratic governance and decentralisation, economy and employment, water, health, migration, as well as peace and security. Furthermore, Switzerland maintains a migration partnership with Kosovo. SECO focusses on the country’s economic development and fosters:
- A competitive private sector generates more jobs
SECO pushes for framework conditions that favour Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). It helps to make the country more attractive for outside investors. By saving on costs and generating more foreign capital, private companies have a better basis to create more jobs.
- Sustainable urban infrastructure
SECO supports Kosovo to establish a modern and eco-friendly infrastructure system. For example, it has helped set up an efficient water supply and sanitation system. SECO is also committed to improving efficiency in the supply and use of energy in Kosovo.
From 2017 to 2021, a total of some CHF 85 million is foreseen for Swiss transition cooperation with Kosovo, of which around CHF 21 million is from SECO.