Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Switzerland to help Poland catch up with Europe

Interesting...:
"Switzerland is not EU member but it has close relations with the union," the Swiss minister said. "We have decided to make a contribution to level economic and social differences between the new and the old EU states and to allocate 1 billion Swiss francs for the purpose," she added.
A non EU state thinks it's a good idea to give money to Eastern reconstruction and catch up? Works with the EU Commission to set up a special fund? I have no idea what to make of this one.
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6 comments:

Stevo in Taichung said...

If the Swiss are into it there must be money to be made.

NuLabour said...

Do not be confused by the inept way in which the British Government wastes money on international aid and reconstruction projects.

Most other countries ensure that such aid is spent in a way that their own national companies profit from such projects.

Jarndyce said...

Most other countries ensure that such aid is spent in a way that their own national companies profit from such projects.

Corporate welfare, in other words? Quite why we don't just transfer the cash straight to the shareholders and have done with it, I'm not sure. Much more efficient.

Anonymous said...

Probably they'll have to pribe the EU members in order to achieve something. At least they'll get Poland's vote, for whatever purpose it is.

jonn said...

Switzerland and Norway, despite staying well out of the EU, seem to be part of the European economic block for most purposes.

Maybe it's just about relationship building - Poland is growing pretty nippily and, more importantly, represents about half the population and GDP of the eight central/eastern countries that entered the union in 2004. That's a big market that's on its way up. The Swiss probably just don't want to get left behind - they don't have the chance to do their relationship building through political manoeuvring like the Brits, French and Germans do.

Also, let's be honest, the Swiss love a touch of cheap foreign labour.

BondWoman said...

Switzerland and Norway participate (i.e. contribute money and also qualify for funding) in a lot of EU Programmes, such as the Framework Programmes for research funding. As you say, there is probably more than a touch of self-interest in any such activities, and I am hardly surprised to read about this. However, Norway's situation is quite different to Switzerland as it is part of the European Economic Area, in such a way that it effectively implements EU rules without having any say in what the contents of those rules will be. That doesn't necessarily sound like the most sensible outcome to me. I found this on the Swiss position on enlargement.