Cooperation in research – access to EU funding pot is for Switzerland teurerDie Switzerland has taken more money from the EU’s research programmes, than they paid in. This is now – and the price of attendance rises to more than a third.Fabian Fellmann61 Kommentare61Das Human Brain Project is to decipher the brain. It is one of the largest research projects with EU funds and is controlled by the EPFL in Lausanne.Photo: Laurent Gillieron (Keystone)

The participation of Switzerland in the European research program Horizon will be significantly more expensive than previously. For the first time, the Federal Council has estimated the financial needs exactly: 6,15 billion Swiss francs he requested the Parliament for six-year-old program for the years 2021 to 2027. The figure was close to 1.8 billion Swiss francs more than for the current program. The Swiss mandatory contributions would rise by 37 percent, say it in the message to the credit proposals to the Parliament.

This has mainly two reasons. The EU plans to increase the Budget of Horizon by at least a quarter to 100 billion Swiss francs. Secondly, and for Switzerland, more important, it changes the rules of the game. New is that non-members may not obtain more money than you Deposit: in Switzerland, from 2003 to 2013, the case amounted to a net inflow of more than CHF 200 million. Meaningful more recent Figures are not available.

the preference

However, the information of the Federal Council are still preliminary. First, the EU must set your research budget is definitely, what is planned for this summer. In addition, it is by no means clear, in which Form Switzerland can participate. So far, Brussels granted in the EFTA States, preferential rights, only the EEA member States – a Change, which relates to Switzerland as a single country. You will only receive the same conditions as other third countries, including the USA, Japan, Israel and the UK.

The Federal Council aims to nevertheless, negotiations on a full Association of Switzerland to Horizon Europe, as also the research representative. The program for the international research landscape and the economy of the greatest importance, he writes in the message: The European funds are behind the national funds, the second most important public source of money for local scientists, businesses and even the most important. For comparison: For the own innovation and research pots, the Federal Council has requested the end of February, about twice as much money than for the Horizon-contributions.

In the absence of the participation of the research and innovation location would be isolated in the long term, “” and “capacity and attractiveness lose,” argues the Federal Council. Swiss institutions, some were massive problems to continue to recruit top-level staff, because for these, the access to the European research space, a decision was criterion in the choice of the place of Work.

The Guillotine threatens

Open was for a long time, whether the EU would link the research cooperation with the framework agreement. Because the Federal Council pushes the latter on the long Bank, insists he is now to the fact that the research was not affected. The negotiations with the EU should begin in the summer. You should bring a satisfactory result, to implement the Federal Council’s Plan B. Then he would use the Horizon provided funds to support researchers in Switzerland more. However, this could not replace the international networking, he warns, as a precautionary measure.

it is virtually certain that the close participation to Horizon is in acute danger, if the voting people and the cantons accept the SVP popular initiative for the termination of the free movement of persons, which comes in September, at the ballot box. The cooperation is based on the research agreement, which is how the free movement of persons agreement part of the Bilateral I. All contracts of that package are connected to a Guillotine clause: if one is terminated, all others fall to do the same. Therefore, the EU had suspended Swiss participation in Horizon ever after 2014 on the mass immigration initiative, which introduced the free movement of persons in question, had found a majority.

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