Swiss President: “The door is not closed” on Horizon Europe research


On May 26, Switzerland left empty-handed after seven years of negotiations on an institutional framework with the EU. Keystone / François Walschaerts

In an interview with Switzerland am Wochenende Guy Parmelin, who holds the rotating Swiss presidency, said it would be “very unfortunate” but not surprising if Switzerland was listed as a third country in Europe’s flagship research program, Horizon.

This content was published on June 26, 2021 – 12:32

Keystone-SDA / jdp

His commentsExternal link Saturday came after the European Commission launched calls for project proposals for its € 95 billion (CHF 105 billion) research program earlier this week. Switzerland was not on the provisional list of 18 third countries eligible for Horizon Europe funding, pending negotiations on their full association with the program. The UK was, for example.

“We in the government were aware that this risk existed when we decided to break off the negotiations [on the framework agreement]. “On May 26, Switzerland announced that after seven years of negotiations it was putting aside a controversial institutional deal on relations with the EU.

After the end of the negotiations, some members of the Swiss scientific community, including Martin Vetterli, president of the Federal Polytechnic of Lausanne (EPFL), expressed their concern about how the end of the negotiations could affect the research partnerships. with Europe.

In an interview with SWI in early June, Vetterli said if the country were to be cut off from what he called the “Research Champions League” there would be a real risk of losing competitiveness.

Parmelin noted that Horizon Europe is a research collaboration agreement and not a market access agreement. Therefore, he did not believe that the latest decision of the European Commission was related to the framework negotiations. He believes that “the door is not closed” but that in the end, “it is a political decision of the EU” on the status of Switzerland in the program, he said.

“Our goal remains full association with Horizon Europe. It is in the interest of all of Europe as a continent as a counterpart to North America or Asia. He added that the government plans to continue funding EU research projects directly, with around 6 million Swiss francs.

Vetterli also responded to the latest news in an interview with Tamedia newspapers, saying the fact that Switzerland was not on the list of possible funding recipients was “very bad news”, not least because research programs for 2021 to 2027 are still being defined. up.


About Author

Comments are closed.