Meeting of the Joint Swiss-EU Committee in the Fields of Research and Euratom

Press releases, 06.06.2013

This year’s meeting of the Joint Committee between Switzerland and the EU in the areas of research and Euratom that took place in Brussels today provided an opportunity for mutual exchange on the implementation of existing agreements and for informal exchanges with regard to “Horizon 2020”, the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and to Euratom’s next programme. These two programmes are scheduled to begin on 1 January 2014. The issue of Swiss participation is currently being discussed in the Federal Assembly.

The Framework Programmes of the European Union lasting several years in the areas of research, technological development and demonstration (Research Framework Programmes) are the EU’s main instrument for the financial support of these areas and for the implementation of pan-European strategies, such as the European Research Area. Switzerland has participated in the programmes through a bilateral agreement since 2004, thus allowing Swiss researchers from universities and industry to participate in the annual calls for proposals on an equal footing. With a budget of around EUR 54 billion for the current 7th programme generation (duration: 2007 to 2013), the Research Framework Programmes have become the most important source of public funding, second only to the Swiss National Science Foundation, for Swiss researchers. The funding and organisation for Switzerland to continue to participate in the Research Framework Programmes is currently also being discussed in Swiss parliament.

According to the bilateral agreement between the EU and Switzerland, the Joint Committee with representatives of the European Commission and of Switzerland meets every year to discuss the administration and the implementation of the bilateral agreement. This year, the Committee met today in Brussels. The items discussed during the meeting included the implementation of the existing agreements, including financial aspects, the latest evaluations regarding Swiss participation in the 7th  Research Framework Programme and in the Euratom Programme, the European Research Area and elements of the “Horizon 2020”, the future EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. Following the meeting of the Joint Committee, exploratory discussions were held on the renewal of the bilateral agreement for the participation of Switzerland in “Horizon 2020” (2014-2020) and in the Euratom/ITER Programme (2014-2018).

The meeting of the Joint Committee was chaired by Jürg Burri, Vice-Director, Head of the Research and Innovation Directorate of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), and Rudolf Strohmeier, Deputy Director-General of the Research Programmes of the European Commission. In addition to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, Swiss participants in the meeting included representatives of the Directorate for European Affairs, the Directorate of Public International Law, the Federal Finance Administration and the Swiss Mission in Brussels.

Address for enquiries:

Philipp Langer, Head of the EU Framework Programmes unit
State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation
Tel. +41 31 322 96 93,

Danièle Rod, Counsellor
Swiss Mission to the European Union
Tel. +32 2 28 61338,


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research