Switzerland is contributing to the EU enlargement by supporting efforts to reduce economic and social disparities. The countries receiving support include Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia, the three most recent EU members.
One of the fields of cooperation with these countries is scientific research. The Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and its counterpart organisations in Romania and Bulgaria had been chosen by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to launch calls for two research programmes and conduct them using the available budget. Both programmes supported three-year Joint Research Projects (JRPs) conducted by research teams from Romania/Bulgaria in close collaboration with researchers from Switzerland. The projects were implemented as of 2012. Croatia, the newest EU member state, will be joining the programme in autumn 2017.