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The framework agreement for the second phase of the Swiss-Hungarian cooperation programme on close to 40 billion forints (EUR 100.0m) of support was signed in Budapest on Tuesday. The agreement will allow for the implementation of developments over the next ten years that will contribute to Hungary’s economic growth, the development of disadvantaged regions, job creation, the improvement of environmental protection and health care and the promotion of research, development and innovation.
Tibor Navracsics, the regional development minister, said before the signing of the agreement that the Swiss-Hungarian Cooperation programme had already brought “tangible benefits” to Hungary, adding that hopefully the second phase would be “similarly productive and fruitful”. He praised ties Hungary has built with Switzerland in connection with the programme. The minister said the signing of the new agreement was symbolic and could further deepen bilateral relations and add value to European cooperation.
Jean-Francois Paroz, Switzerland’s ambassador to Hungary, said the signing of the agreement opened a new chapter in bilateral ties, intensifying cooperation between Switzerland and Hungary in several areas. Andrea Studer, deputy head of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, said the 87.6 million Swiss francs in funding for Hungary would be utilised in the development of health care, vocational training, research and innovation, the financing of micro, small and medium-sized companies, the fight against human trafficking, energy efficiency, water and sewage management and aiding disadvantaged groups.
Gergely Vartus, the deputy state secretary in charge of the coordination of EU developments, said the area of vocational training will receive 3.9 billion forints, research and innovation 4.5 billion, and the financing of small businesses and energy efficiency will each get 5.2 billion forints in support. A total of 1 billion forints will go towards the fight against human trafficking, while the area of water and sewage management will receive 7 billion forints, he said. Health care and the aiding of socially disadvantaged groups will receive 10-11 billion forints in support, Vartus added.