Establishment of the Institute of Studies in Federalism and De-centralisation in Hungary

The Project is implemented in international partnership and by the financing of Twinning and Partnership Block Grant of Swiss Contribution.

Svájci-Magyar Együttműködési Program

About the Programme


The European Commission and Switzerland signed a bilateral agreement on 27 February 2006 on the Swiss Contribution established by the Swiss government. In accordance with the Agreement, Switzerland shall ensure one-off non-reimbursable support of a total of 1 billion CHF over a 5-year period for the ten new Member States. Hungary is eligible to receive funding of 130,738,000 CHF (approximately 20 billion HUF) ensured by this framework.

The bilateral agreement defines the cooperation frameworks established between Switzerland and the Member States eligible to receive a share of the funding, pursuant to which bilateral negotiations – which began in January 2007 between Switzerland and Hungary - with specific Member States aimed at defining the frameworks for the receipt of funding, areas eligible for support, as well as the tendering system were launched.

Specific areas of support within the above priority areas are defined in the Framework Agreement.

The Framework Agreement and its Annexes were finalised as progress was made in negotiations held between the staff of the National Development Agency and Swiss representatives launched on 15 January 2007, where the representatives of the concerned ministries and civil organisations were also present.

The donor country assessed and set up frameworks in other Member States as well. These frameworks are designed to manage the implementation of the programme in specific beneficiary Member States in a coherent manner. Having closed negotiations and granted authorisation to the Hungarian government, the Framework Agreement was signed between Switzerland and Hungary on 20 December 2007 in Bern. The Hungarian regulatory framework was established and was issued in a governmental decree (237/200. (IX. 26.)) The first series of calls for applications were announced in July 2008.

Our project plan prepared according to the 1st call of proposals of the Twinning and Partnership Block Grant of the Swiss Contribution in March of 2011. The criticism of this project was positive, so we started the implementation on 1 of September 2011.


About the project concept


The project has double aim: it is to establish longer term collaboration between a Hungarian and a Swiss research institute, the institutional framework of which will be the establishment of a common (at first mainly virtual) research centre. This institution will be based on the similar and at the same time complementary scientific profiles of the two research institutes and will help Hungary with common research, exchange of researchers and knowledge in progressing towards decentralisation and in the modernisation of the state and public administrative structures.

Therefore the preliminary target of the project is to establish a virtual research centre, the Institute of Studies in Federalism and Decentralisation (ISFD). The facilitation of the ISFD will launch at the same time a new Swiss-Hungarian cooperation between the initiator of the project the Swiss resident Graduate Institute of European Studies of the University of Geneva (IEUG) and the host institution of the new education and research centre the HAS Centre for Regional Studies. This cooperation will result in the establishment of a new virtual institution with the main objective and mission to reduce the social-economic backwardness of Hungary in comparison to the other EU member states and to force back the social and economic inequalities within the country as well as to create and strengthen the territorial and social cohesion. The new institute will process and synthesize from the Hungarian aspect the Swiss structures and the experiences of their operation, but it would also offer these results for the Western-Balkan countries.

The second, and shorter term target of the project is to be resumed during the 15 month project period and within the geographical action space of the priority 1 of the Swiss-Hungarian Cooperative Programme and is aimed at the implementation of objective 1 (Regional initiatives in the peripheral and disadvantaged regions). This action will assist the strengthening of decentralised structures and the development of micro-regions and settlements. This means concrete networking within the frameworks of the project between the Swiss organisations of development policy, actors and the founder organisation. The transfer of experiences will take place in Hungary in the form of workshops with the participation of the decision makers of the local and micro-regional tiers. A further product of the first phase of the project will be the assembling of a handbook serving the transfer of the Swiss theoretic and practical experiences. All these will implement the capacity development and building of the human resources of Hungarian public administration and a knowledge transfer for Hungarian decision-makers.