Over a year has passed since Switzerland voted in a referendum “against mass immigration”
and for the introduction of quotas for EU migrants, thereby violating the basic agreement on freedom of movement between the Swiss Confederation and the European Union. As a direct consequence of this referendum Switzerland lost its privileged access to the EU framework programmes Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+
, and was re-categorized as a “third country entity” (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, Although Switzerland has yet to reach a definitive agreement with the European Union on the question of its status, its privileges and obligations, some interim solutions have been reached to compensate for the loss of full access to Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020. Our ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, International Agreement
was signed giving Switzerland partial access to Horizon 2020. According to that agreement, Switzerland continues to enjoy unrestricted access to all calls of the first pillar, “Excellent Science,” as well as to the third ERC calls, at least until the end of 2016. This Agreement is only temporary; if Switzerland fails to ratify the Free Movement of Persons Agreement between the EU (including Croatia) and Switzerland by 9 February 2017, the Agreement will be terminated, and Switzerland will lose its current status of “partially associated country.”
For now, however, Swiss partners are reminded that they can opt to a number of Horizon 2020 grants with no fear of discrimination
, as excellence remains the sole evaluation criterion. The Swiss network for Education, Research and Innovation Euresearch
is the contact point in Switzerland for questions and support related to Horizon2020.
European Commission (Agreement December 2014)