Pro Helvetia works directly with foreign partners using a system of liaison offices and cultural centres. The liaison offices develop regional contacts and nurture long term partnerships in the event sector. They act as a go-between for cultural projects from Switzerland and local events organisers, initiate co-productions with cultural practitioners from the host region and organise residencies for artists. The cultural centres include premises in which events can be held. They are located in international hubs of cultural life, where a representative window to Swiss culture can have a significant impact. The Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris is managed and funded by Pro Helvetia. As regards the other centres, the Swiss Arts Council participates in their cultural programme on the basis of a performance agreement.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation stipulates its key countries (developing countries). Within Switzerland’s enlargement contribution, the aforementioned countries have been joined by various other countries, which acceded to the European Union on 1 May 2004: Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, and Cyprus. In 2010, the list was extended to include Romania and Bulgaria.
The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs supports cultural activities via its network of embassies abroad, e.g., through the contacts and infrastructure of these embassies, or through its transport facilities. The cantons and cities also play an important role in facilitating partnerships on all different levels. A cursory glance at the artists-in-residence opportunities in Switzerland and abroad offered by the Swiss Confederation, cantons, and cities impressively demonstrates this (http://www.artists-in-residence.ch).