Swiss – Slovak Cooperation Programme 

Inspiring, functioning, helpful! 

I can use these modifiers with pride in regard to the long-term Swiss – Slovak cooperation that the Government Office of the Slovak Republic – Department of management and implementation of the Swiss Financial Mechanism has administered in the framework of a programme for reducing the economic and social differences between the Slovak Republic and more developed member states of the European Union. I’m glad that this programme functions “like a Swiss watch” – all of the financial resources have already been assigned to the individual project applicants and – what personally pleases me the most – all of these projects are already visible and beneficial for common citizens, in particular: treatment plants, sewers, social services homes for the poor, educational scholarship programmes, but I must also mention, for example, the protection of our nature. Thanks to projects supported in the scope of Swiss – Slovak Cooperation people have found jobs, many tourist centers have welcomed more visitors and many young scientists have received valuable experience outside of our country. 

And therefore we want to thank everyone who contributed to this successful cooperation, especially, however, our Swiss partners – not only for the financing provided but also for their valuable advice and experience during the implementation of Joint projects. 

I firmly believe that in the future we will be able to continue in this excellent cooperation! 

Igor Federič 

Head of the Office of the Government of the Slovak Republic 


Dear readers, 

The most frequent question I have to answer in relation with the Swiss Contribution to Slovakia is: Why? Why is a country like Switzerland supporting various EU member states? 

On 26 November 2006, voters in Switzerland approved in a referendum their consent to a significant contribution towards the reduction of economic and social disparities within the enlarged EU. The so called enlargement contribution is a symbol of solidarity and responsibility. It strengthens Switzerland's relationship with the EU – one of the country’s most important political and economic partners. As well, it supports the younger members of the EU in their efforts to catch up with their neighbors. Contributing to Slovakia's social and economic development and to the ongoing partnership between Slovakia and Switzerland is, I believe, a good investment. 

This brochure is a mirror of the Swiss-Slovak Programme and presents our common efforts, which now bear promising fruits. Let me also express my gratitude to our excellent project promoters and partners. Their commitment and hard work are essential within this cooperation programme. 

H.E. Alexander Wittwer 

Ambassador of the Swiss Confederation in Slovak republic 


1. We offer tourists more 

 Projects focused on development of the tourism industry: 

 Zemplínske Hámre 

The village wants to attract visitors, in particular with the history of a unique industrial productionThanks to the non-reimbursable financial contribution a museum will be built in the village with two expositions: Ethnography of the village Zemplínske Hámre – the history of the village and prominent persons, and Industrial History. The first of them focuses on the detailed documenting of mining activities, steel production, the production of charcoal and the transport of wood. A component of the museum will also be two craft workshops – weaving and pottery – as well as an original oven for the baking of bread. The landmarks will be linked by a walking path and information for tourists will be provided by a newly built Tourist Information Centre. 

Financial contribution: EUR 1,121,772 

For more information visit: 


Tokaj Region 

The main product of the tourism industry in the Tokaj winegrowing region is wine tourism. The creation of a unified navigation system, a virtual navigation system and the building of a so-called Rekreopark (Recreation Park) will contribute to its development. Visitors arriving to the region will have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with revived traditional crafts – production processes and technologies – and not only with the making of the famous Tokaj wine but also the baking of bread, the making of honeybee products, or products from grape vines. Two information centers will be available to tourists in the region, and one of them will be the first building of its type in the Košice Region in the use of technology on the basis of renewable energy sources. An important dominant feature of the Tokaj Wine Route will become the 12m-tall Tokaj Sightseeing Tower, designed in the unique shape of a wine barrel. 

Financial contribution: EUR 1,215,059 


For more information visit: 



The village, located in the heart of the National Park Slovak Paradise, has for a long time been trying to attract the largest number of tourists possible. With the help of a non-reimbursable financial contribution they have already built a Tourist Information Centre, whose appearance and interesting wooden architecture attracts additional visitors. The center has been in operation since June 2014 and statistics show that it is successfully fulfilling its purpose. Thanks to the financial support some of the climbing boards, ladders and bridges in the Slovak Paradise were repaired. In addition, shelters, fire-rings, benches and hiking paths were built and the cycling paths were newly marked. The unified characteristics of the national park are also enhanced by the entry gates, which open the road to the park’s beautiful recesses. Local businesses and local administration were aware of the importance of tourism for the region and therefore established the Slovak Paradise Regional Tourism Organization. Further development and sustainability of the tourism potential is now in its hands. 

Financial contribution: EUR 1,126,819 

Before reconstruction: 



After reconstruction: 


For more information visit: 


Joint project: Mineral springs road 

Slovakia is known for its plenitude of mineral springs, which have curative effects. Often, however, we don’t even know where they are found. And that’s why the Northern Spiš – Pieniny Regional Tourism Organization is building a tourism road called the Mineral Springs Road (Cesta minerálnych prameňov), which links together up to a dozen mineral springs. Thanks to the financial contribution, hiking paths and handrails in their surroundings are being renewed, rest zones are being built, pumps are being added and the road will be marked by a special sign. By implemented project and published publication - the Concept of Development of the Ecological Tourism Industry and Management of Quality for the Ecological Tourism Industry for 11 Villages in the Target Region (Koncept rozvoja ekologického cestovného ruchu a manažment kvality pre ekologický cestovný ruch pre 11 obcí v cieľovom regióne) it will be possible to inspire other organizations supporting tourism in Slovakia. 

Financial contribution: EUR 87,096 

For more information visit: 


2. We will care for the ill and the weak 

Projects focused on the provision of social services: 

Slovak Red Cross project 

The financial contribution from the Swiss Financial Mechanism helps to increase the quality of life of children and young people with a difficult combined disability and to expand the provided services for thorough rehabilitation, a TheraSuit, hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, canistherapy, art therapy, child nutrition and the like. Furthermore, building modifications giving access to disabled persons can also take place and an extension to a Social Services Home can be built. The facility’s personnel will be continually educated, and a systematic practical preparation of students of schools focused on work in social services homes will be implemented, as well as educational-advisory services for family members of clients. 

Financial contribution: EUR 892,584 

For more information visit: 


Greek-Catholic Charity Prešov 

The employees at the daily center of St. Anne’s House in Stará Ľubovna try for the higher integration of disabled children and youth into common life. They utilize for this not only therapeutic rehabilitation but especially social therapy. It is with this in particular that the charity wants to support making young people independent when caring for themselves or for a household. Psychological rehabilitation removes their psychic barriers and during occupational rehabilitation young people adopt work habits. Those who achieve a higher degree of work independence develop their skills in a protected workshop and learn to live in a simulated household. 

Financial contribution: EUR 1,047,369 

For more information visit: 


Please come and join us...DOMKO social services home 

Thanks to the project of the Košice Self-governing Region DOMKO has now been completely reconstructed. The planned construction of an extension in the second phase of reconstruction enables it to provide clients a weekly form of stay. The house will also be tailored so that the movement of immobile clients is simplified and specialized rooms for therapy and other rooms of the house will be refurnished. Thus, the space for more quality services expanded by new activities and a Leisure time center (Centrum voľného času) in the afternoon hours will be created. With this step the slogan of the DOMKO personnel (the “Domkáči”) will be satisfied: we open doors for the wide public, which enables clients to more significantly integrate into everyday life. People with mental disabilities will show their artistic talents at the photography exhibition which is being prepared. The project already has one exceptional event behind it – in February 2013 a Slovak-wide winter amusement-movement games for mentally disabled clients from Slovak social service homes were held. More than 120 clients from 20 facilities all over Slovakia relished taking part in the sporting events. 

Financial contribution: EUR 1,262,226 

Before reconstruction: 

After reconstruction: 

For more information visit: 


Project of the association ETP Slovensko 

The effort and at the same time the aim of the project is to increase the social integration of children and young people from socially disadvantaged communities, especially Roma communities, through the specific Feuerstein method, intended for children of preschool age and pupils of primary schools. This method of “mediated learning” helps children to develop skills for self-learning and self-education. Thanks to it the children adopt better elementary school habits, develop a method of thinking and in the end result increase their intellect. Since 2012 children and youth in the community centers have been provided with advisory services and have taken part in educational activities, including tutoring and different out-of-school activities. Partnerships are developed with potential employers and thematically focused workshops are held. Employees at the community center regularly complete courses focused on working with children and youth from marginalized Roma communities, and in January 2013 with participation of the author of the method himself, world renowned psychologist Rabbi Rafael Feuerstein. 

Financial contribution: EUR 1,327,003 

For more information visit: 

Small project of the civic association Inštitút Krista Veľkňaza (Institute of Christ, the Supreme Pontiff) 

The institute has in its activities the provision of help to the sick, disabled, homeless, children from broken families and institutes, help to orphans, people of advanced age, single mothers and all in need requiring aid. After training employees and equipping workshops the Institute created for 60 clients their own individually organized development plans and subsequently carried them out with them: for example, clients of the Institute worked in woodworking shops for the production of toys, in construction and also obtained basic life skills and support. Ten of them have been successfully and fully integrated into society. 

Financial contribution: EUR 94,039 

For more information visit: 


Small project of the non-profit organization Áno pre život (Yes for Life) 

Members of the organization reconstructed the facility G. B. Moll´s House, which offers emergency housing for 25 victims of domestic violence. It offers people in unfavorable living situations consulting personally and by telephone and approximately 100 people have been involved in therapeutic programmes. So that the public sensitively perceives violence committed against the weaker, the innocent, even in the end relatives or friends, members of this non-profit organization organized several educational events. 

Financial contribution: EUR 120,679.30 


For more information visit: 


3. We protect all living things 

 Projects focused on environmental protection: 

Monitoring and research of forest ecosystems 

The protection of our forest wealth requires an effective system of forest management planning and forest maintenance. Thanks to the modern technologies of aerial photography and scanning of territories with the use of a digital aerial camera and scanner (LIDAR) the National Forestry Centre in Zvolen will be capable of providing a much richer spectrum of exact data on forest ecosystems including a digital model of the terrain. Data from LIDAR enables after processing, among other things, determining the height and potentially also the species of trees and evaluating the health status on the level of individual trees. These data were not previously available in the Slovak Republic. Exact data about forest vegetation and the terrain are keys for effectively maintaining forests and their permanently sustainable development. In the scope of the project 5,000 km2 of territory will be scanned each year, i.e. in 10 years it will be possible with the new technology to obtain exact digital data from the whole territory of the Slovak Republic. 

Financial contribution: EUR 1,964,577 

For more information visit: 


Development of nature conservation and protected areas 

State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic as a special professional organisation wants to improve the strategy of nature conservation by creating an innovative public-private partnership with owners, administrators or tenants of lands lying in protected areas and to positively motivate them to care for these lands. The organisation will create new revitalization measures in selected localities of international significance and improve the conservation management of protected areas. This would comply with international standards and international treaties. The elaborated education programme on the protection of the Carpathian Mountains has already been adopted by 20 primary and secondary schools in Slovakia. 

Financial contribution: EUR 1,949,825 

For more information visit: 


Small project: Green renewal, building and housing 

The civic association ArTUR – Architektúra pre trvalo udržateľný rozvoj (Architecture for Permanently Sustainable Development) – is reconstructing the center of the village Hrubý Šúr, with a built-up area of 250 m2. A part of the reconstruction is the use of materials and technologies which are as favorable as possible in terms of protecting the environment. ArTUR in the scope of renovating a building is organizing courses for the public and transforming the adjacent territory covering an area of 1,400 m2 into an instructional garden. A benefit of the project on the Slovak-wide level is the proposal of legislation documents for the use of clay and straw in construction, which is thus far lacking in our environment. 

Financial contribution: EUR 179,960 

For more information visit: 

Projects focused on construction of wastewater treatment plants and sewer systems 

Slovak villages with new sewer systems 

Up to 7,300 residents of villages lying in eastern Slovakia – Gemerská Poloma, Tušice and Dlhé nad Cirochou – will enjoy the 24 km of newly built sectional public sewerage. For more than 6,400 residents of the villages Častá, Dvorníky and Veľké Ripňany, lying in the west of Slovakia, 32 km of new public sewerage will be built. The use of home sumps will be minimal – in the majority of cases they are water permeable and thus endanger the quality of surface water and of groundwater. Furthermore, some villages are not completely connected to public water mains and their residents use water from their own wells. The building of wastewater treatment and sewerage undoubtedly has an impact on the economic or social development of villages. Representatives of the Swiss Confederation took part in the laying of the corner stone of buildings in the months June - July 2014. 

Financial contribution: EUR 24,642,163 

For more information visit: 


Projects focused on increasing safety and security in the Slovak Republic: 

Expanding of the Police Force information system ACHERON 

In the framework of the first project of the Slovak Ministry of the Interior this information system will be completed with software and hardware equipment that enables the performing of precise operational and strategic analysis on different levels. The expanded ACHERON information system will serve for the gathering and processing of information about criminal activities, enable the searching for connections between individual events, persons or phenomena and is also able to provide information retrospectively. Thanks to a non-reimbursable financial contribution the training of administrators and users of this system will take place. A component of the project is also training of police and procurators in the field of radioactive materials and the creation of IS ENVIRO, which will serve for the collection, storing and monitoring of all illegal activities discovered with radioactive and nuclear materials on the territory of the Slovak Republic. 

Financial contribution: EUR 3,171,543 


For more information visit: 


Improving preparedness of rescue units of the Slovak Ministry of the Interior 

A second project of the Slovak Ministry of the Interior includes the building of a training center for service dogs and dog handlers, unique in Central Europe, in the grounds of the Police Force Secondary Vocational School in Devínska Nová Ves. The training center will be focused on specialized training of service dogs in the field of rescue work under the leadership of professional instructors and lecturers. The project will reinforce and develop the existing professional results achieved in this area. Thanks to the financial contribution technical equipment of the Control Chemical Laboratories for Civil Defense will be modernized and their employees will complete professional training in the field of measuring hazardous chemical and radioactive substances at the NBC Laboratory in Spiez, Switzerland. Members of the Fire and Rescue Corps will be trained so that in the case of exceptional events they are able to respond in the shortest time possible. The intervention of rescue units will be managed by a new mobile chief-staff vehicle directly from the place of occurrence of the exceptional event. 

Financial contribution: EUR 3,123,643 

For more information visit: 


Electronization of court files 

The Swiss Financial Mechanism, among others, enabled the Slovak Ministry of Justice to carry out the gradual electronization of court files. This is the foundation of improving effectiveness of the work and creating an efficient resource for eliminating the risk of illegal handling of such files. The technical equipment of courts will be modernized, which enables the recording of all proceedings in Slovakia – the entire process will be more transparent (so far the proceedings, with the exception of specific criminal cases, were not recorded, only drawn up in the form of abbreviated report). Furthermore, during the receiving of documents in printed versions the danger existed of their being lost or modified. Electronization will also support the lowering of the number of postponements in court proceedings, bring a faster form of delivery of court judgments and to a maximum measure reduce administrative costs for court proceedings. 

Financial contribution: EUR 3,024,032 

For more information visit: 



4. We support those who want to know more 
Projects focused on education: 

Vocational education and training for labor market 

This project has as its aim to strengthen cooperation between employers and secondary vocational schools and to adapt teaching programmes to the requirements of employers. The state institute of vocational education is focused on those professions which pupils in the final years of primary schools do not select, or about which there is little interest; however, the labor market needs them, for example: electro technology, technical and applied chemistry, food industry, construction, geodesy and cartography, economics, organisation, trade and services and technical chemical silicates. The ten vocational schools involved have already approached students, parents and all those whose choice of profession is related, through the form of competitions, workshops, volunteer activities or advertising campaigns. 

Financial contribution: EUR 3,656,108 

For more information visit: 


Swiss-Slovak Scholarship Fund 

The programme is a unique instrument for young and also older university research workers. At the same time it develops mutual relations between universities in Slovakia and partner organizations in the donor state, that is, in Switzerland. 

Ján Košuth from Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, who works in the field of biology – genetics, evaluated his scholarship stay in Zürich as follows: 

This was for me a fantastic one-year experience. In all respects I met with a maximally accommodating and professional approach. I worked in a research center which is among the most modern and I learned from top experts. Aside from work I enjoyed in Zürich the beauties of nature or wandering through the well-kept towns and villages. I very much appreciate that I had the opportunity to obtain this scholarship, and thus also many new experiences and inspirations in my work.” 

For Lenka Luptáková from the University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice the study stay had not only educational but also a personal benefit: 

The programme brought me the opportunity to expand cooperation also beyond the borders of my home country, which is one of the most important things for research. In addition to obtaining new theoretical and practical knowledge 

and experience in the studied scientific field this project help teach a person to adapt to a completely new environment and new people. The work team was made up of a mix of people from all over the world. Specifically, in Neuchatel there are experts from Chile, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Armenia, Germany, Great Britain, and this forces you to respect them and to adapt to their customs. In the research itself, I devoted myself to a specific species of fungus (so-called oomycetes), which cause the death of fish, whether raised artificially in reservoirs or freely living. With the help of different analyses we attempted to discover whether these are indigenous species or species introduced to nature, for example, by birds.” 

Testimony regarding the advisability of such projects for young scientists lies in the success of science in Switzerland - among Nobel Prize laureates are 20 scientists who at the time of obtaining their prize were citizens of Switzerland and 18 scientists who at the time obtaining it worked at Swiss universities or their workplaces. 

Financial contribution: EUR 174,601 - with CHF 2,769,000 earmarked for Slovak researchers in Switzerland 

For more information visit: 


Small project: Sokratov inštitút (Socrates Institute) 

The Centre for Environmental and Ethical Education Živica, in cooperation with the Technical University in Zvolen, has created a two-semester study subject, the Socrates Institute, for 

elite students of Slovak universities. Several well-known Slovak and European personalities – experts in their fields – have become lecturers at the Socrates Institute, for example, Czech geologist and writer Václav Cílek or conservationist and writer Erik Baláž. A component of the study is also the carrying out and defending of a practically focused project. Živica has also completed construction of the library interior, a study room and a computer classroom of center Zaježová and equipped them for the purposes of study. It mediated information for the public through e-learning and the media. 

Financial contribution: EUR 150,984 

For more information visit: 


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