The Partnership Fund (referred to as TF PF) is implemented in under the Thematic Fund Agreement for the Partnership Fund between the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (referred to as SDC) and the Monitoring of EU Funds Directorate of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria, as the National Coordination Unit (referred to as NCU), and the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, signed on 11 November 2011.
TF PF is a part of the Framework Agreement on the implementation of the Bulgarian-Swiss Cooperation Programme to reduce economic and social disparities in the enlarged European Union, signed by the Swiss Federal Council and the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria on 7 September 2010.
SDC and NCU are the responsible agencies for implementing the TF PF. However, they have mandated a Swiss Intermediate Body (SIB) to manage the TF PF. The SIB is a consortium of three organisations: INNOVABRIDGE Foundation, Caslano, Switzerland (a leading partner in the consortium), NEOSYS AG, Gerlafingen, Switzerland and the BALKAN INSTITUTE FOR LABOUR AND SOCIAL POLICY (BILSP), Sofia, Bulgaria.
Objectives of TF PF
The Partnership Fund promotes and/or enhances institutional partnerships between Bulgarian and Swiss partners in order to contribute to strengthening capacities and structures of the Bulgarian institutional partners from the Swiss added value in the solution of specific development challenges.
- Within the overall goal of the Bulgarian-Swiss Cooperation Program to reduce economic and social disparities within the enlarged EU as well as between the dynamic urban centers and the structurally weaker peripheral regions of the country, the main objective of the PF is to add value through establishing new or enhancing existing institutional partnerships between Swiss and Bulgarian partner institutions in order to contribute to the solution of specific development challenges.
- The Swiss Contribution is an important element of the bilateral relations between Switzerland and Bulgaria. It enhances the bilateral relations in many aspects, including providing opportunities to assert Swiss solidarity, establishing Swiss-Bulgarian institutional partnerships, promoting Swiss presence and visibility as well as making good use of the Swiss knowledge and experience.
- The supporting measures implemented through the PF pursue a sustainable, economically and socially balanced development.
TF PF is implemented through projects of NGOs, networks, associations, community centres (chitalishta) social partners, think tanks, local and national public institutions in the social sphere, culture, education and territorial management.
TF PEF provides support to 27 projects having total budget of 6 127 824,35 BGN and receiving Swiss grant amounting 3 386 515,33 CHF. 20 out of these projects contribute to the establishment of new partnerships between Swiss and Bulgarian entities and 7 projects support existing partnerships. One project is implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, one project is implemented by a municipal authority and the remaining projects are implemented by NGOs. 19 projects impact the regional administrative centres and 8 projects contribute to the development of smaller towns and rural areas.
The thematic scope of the supported projects include direct democracy, addictions prevention, support to culture, community building, nature protection, introducing good business practices, care for people and children with specific needs, etc.