EU-Switzerland: the universities’ appeal

Swiss universities have called on the country’s Federal Council to reach an agreement as soon as possible to conclude treaties with Brussels, an issue that is jeopardizing Switzerland’s full participation in the Horizon Europe research and innovation program. The new framework agreement between the EU and Switzerland is expected to replace more than 100 bilateral agreements governing relations between the two. Officially, the talks on the new agreement have nothing to do with scientific collaboration, or with Switzerland’s attempts to renew its place in the EU research program as an associate member. However, the heated disagreement between the parties makes it difficult for Switzerland to participate in the Horizon Europe research program. Brussels officials, frustrated by years of negotiations that involved 32 rounds of negotiations, say they are willing to discuss and offer clarifications on the new agreement, but rule out any renegotiation of the treaty text. Switzerland has already experienced the price of being excluded from EU research projects in 2014, following a referendum to introduce quotas for EU immigrants to Switzerland. The country was first completely and then partially excluded from the Horizon 2020 program, only to be reinstated after reaching a new agreement. Now Swiss universities are demanding that this scenario no longer occurs. The appeal of Swiss universities: Statements – swissuniversities  
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