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At the end of a long negotiation process, a provisional agreement between the European Commission and Switzerland, allowing for the participation of the latter in the EU Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) has been reached. The agreement will be officially signed after the formal approval of the two chambers of the Swiss parliament. The de facto participation of Switzerland should start in 2011 and cover both LLP applications and projects. Following the signature of the agreement, the "ch Stiftung" will act as the Swiss national agency for LLP (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, November 2007) in collaboration with CRUS.
Along with rights, come duties. According to the provisional agreement, Switzerland will have to make an annual financial contribution to the programme, as follows: EUR 14.2 million in 2011; EUR 14.9 million in 2012; and EUR 15.6 million in 2013, i.e. a total of EUR 44.7 million. Switzerland is the only European country due to take part in LLP without being a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), a candidate country or a potential candidate country. In addition, Switzerland will be granted direct participation in the ‘Youth in Action’ Programme, also as of 2011.