Participation in the EU’s Erasmus+, Horizon 2020 and MEDIA programmes

Bern, Press releases, 07.03.2014

The Federal Council has acknowledged the decision of the European Commission to suspend Switzerland’s association to the EU’s Erasmus+, Horizon 2020 and MEDIA programmes and instead give Switzerland third-country status from 2014. The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) and the Federal Office of Culture (FOC) have been asked to draw up interim solutions for the three programmes.

At its meeting today the Federal Council decided to draw up interim solutions for Switzerland’s involvement in the education and research programmes and film support programme. The government wants to ensure that Swiss people will still be able to take part indirectly in Erasmus+, the European Union’s programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport for 2014–2020. This means that, similar to the form in which Switzerland participated before 2011, a complementary funding method to support individuals and projects will have to be drawn up, with an independent set of assessment and funding criteria for Swiss institutions.

At the same time, the Federal Council would like to support researchers in Switzerland who will be unable to take part in research cooperation projects in 2014 due to the discontinuation of negotiations on the research programme Horizon 2020. The Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) has been charged with drawing up an interim solution for funding researchers in Switzerland directly in 2014 in joint and individual projects connected with Horizon 2020.

Finally, the Federal Council has agreed to an interim solution to compensate for the CHF 5 million in lost funding from MEDIA, the EU programme which supports the film industry. The Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) has been charged with implementing this measure, which is designed to ensure that current projects can continue and that the possibility of Switzerland rejoining the EU programme MEDIA can be maintained . However, these measures will not be able to replace full access to the European film market and its network.

The need for an interim solution regarding these three programmes arose when the EU discontinued negotiations in the above areas following the vote on mass immigration, and relegated Switzerland to third-country status on 26 February.

The Federal Council continues – also in close contact with the EU – to implement  the result of the vote against mass immigration held on 9 February in a coordinated way and  in the interests of all those affected, both Swiss and European nationals. It is also working on finding solutions to the other open bilateral issues.                          

Address for enquiries:

Rudolf Christen, Head of Information, EAER,
Tel. 031 322 39 60.

Peter Lauener, FDHA spokesman,
Tel. 031 322 82 31.

Jean-Marc Crevoisier, Head of Information FDFA,
Tel. 031 322 31 53.


The Federal Council
Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research
Federal Department of Home Affairs
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs