Research: Switzerland now a third country

The EU Commission has downgraded Switzerland to the status of a non-associated third country in its Horizon Europe research funding programme. Researchers in Switzerland will now cease to receive funding from the EU for the time being, and will be partially excluded from academic exchange projects. Swiss media see the move as revenge for Bern's breaking off negotiations on the Framework Agreement.

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Tages-Anzeiger (CH) /

Threat of brain drain

After Switzerland broke off negotiations on the Framework Programme, the EU Commission has decided to up the pressure on Bern this way - and it could be successful, the Tages-Anzeiger fears:

“Research, innovation and science thrive on the exchange of ideas and projects, on cooperation between research groups at different universities, and on interaction between academia and industry. ... All this is now becoming more difficult. Especially since the EU has indirectly but bluntly advised young researchers in Switzerland to move abroad to get research funding. This is likely to create a great deal of uncertainty for the time being - and in the medium term it could indeed create a brain drain.”

Blick (CH) /

The arrogance of power

Blick finds Switzerland's exclusion disproportionate:

“After breaking off negotiations on a framework agreement, the EU is now excluding Swiss academics from the Horizon research programme. The Federal Council certainly did not cut a good figure on the European dossier. And the Swiss peculiarity of wanting to profit from the blessings of European unification while keeping their own contribution as small as possible is not helping bilateral relations. When the EU lets the autocrats in its own ranks have their way but uses education and research, of all things, to punish liberal Switzerland, it demonstrates an arrogance in the use of power that in other contexts it demands must be overcome.”