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swissuniversities hopes for full participation in Horizon Europe 2024

On 15 December 2023, the Federal Council adopted the draft mandate for negotiations with the EU. As soon as the mandate has been definitively adopted after consultation with Parliament and the cantons, negotiations will begin. This could make it possible for Swiss universities to apply for the prestigious ERC Advanced Grants 2024 of the EU research programme as early as 2024.

The universities welcome the Federal Council's decision to resume negotiations with the EU. By resuming negotiations, By entering into negotiations, Switzerland could once again participate in certain calls for research programmes, as envisaged in the "Common Understanding" of the exploratory talks between Switzerland and the European Commission at the End of October. In it, the European Commission declares its willingness to make transitional arrangements for Swiss applicants for Horizon Europe and the Euratom research and training programme as soon as both Switzerland and the EU have accepted a negotiating mandate and the negotiation process on the overall package has begun. 

The package also includes an agreement on more systematic participation in EU education and research programmes such as Horizon Europe and Erasmus+. This also opens up prospects for long-term cooperation. Switzerland as a centre of science is dependent on regulated and sustainable framework conditions for research and education cooperation with the EU. 

This is a prerequisite for continuing to play a leading role internationally in the service of Switzerland and Europe. This is because swissuniversities has identified massive disadvantages as a result of the non-association with the EU programmes. These not only affect Swiss universities, but also Switzerland as a centre of research. Knowledge and education are among Switzerland's most important resources. If the universities are weakened, Switzerland will also lose its attractiveness as a centre of research. It is therefore in the general interest of society to prevent the erosion of Switzerland's international position as a centre of knowledge, research and education.

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