Switzerland and EU join forces in science and research

Friday, 5 December, 2014
Today (5 December 2014) the European Union and Switzerland signed a comprehensive international agreement associating Switzerland to parts of Horizon 2020, Research and Training Programme of Euratom and the ITER project. This will see Switzerland participate in project consortia in eligible programmes on an equal footing with EU Member States, while financially contributing to these programmes with an estimated €400 million until the end of 2016.
signing the agreement

"This agreement is of paramount importance for our scientific communities."

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Science, Research and Innovation

Commenting on the signature of the agreement, Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Science, Research and Innovation said: “This agreement is of paramount importance for our scientific communities. EU researchers benefit from access to excellent Swiss research facilities and institutions. At the same time, access to schemes for researcher mobility like Marie Skłodowska-Curie or to excellent research in programmes like ERC and Future and Emerging Technologies is vital for the Swiss. Furthermore, with this agreement Switzerland renews its commitment towards our long standing and fruitful collaboration.”

As part of the Horizon 2020 programme, Swiss beneficiaries will be able to participate with an associated status in actions under the "Excellent Science" pillar, which contains the European Research Council, Future and Emerging Technologies, Research Infrastructures and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions as well as in actions under the specific objective “Spreading excellence and widening participation”. In addition, Switzerland will also participate as an associated country in the Euratom Programme and the ITER project.

The participation of Switzerland is effective from 15 September 2014 until 31 December 2016. Beyond 2016, association to these programmes will depend on Swiss measures to ensure the non-discrimination of Croatian citizens and researchers. If Switzerland resolves the issue of the free movement of persons by February 2017, the association will expand to the whole of Horizon 2020 including the parts not yet covered. Otherwise, the whole agreement will be automatically terminated.