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On 11 June ACA issued a statement pleading for the start of negotiations for Switzerland’s association to the Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe programmes. The formal association to both programmes would be highly beneficial for all programme countries and for Switzerland, and would contribute to further building a strong and sustainable European Higher Education and Research Area.
On 26 May Switzerland withdrew from negotiations with the European Commission over the EU-Swiss Institutional Framework Agreement, a development that risks negatively impacting the start of negotiations for association to the two programmes. The European Commission previously used the signature of the framework agreement as a precondition for any further negotiations. However, association to both programmes is both form a technical and formal point of view detached from the question of the framework agreement. Reaching a joint agreement on the two programmes should thus still be possible. Such an agreement is highly supported by the Swiss higher education and research sectors.
ACA strongly hopes that the Swiss Federal Council and the European Commission would use this momentum, and prioritise negotiations over education and research cooperation, two areas in which the benefits of a partnership are both mutual and unquestionable.