Creative Europe is the EU's framework programme to support culture and creativity, including in the audiovisual sector. Switzerland first signed an agreement with the EU in 2004 as part of Bilaterals II which made Switzerland eligible for the then MEDIA programme. The last programme with Swiss participation expired in 2013. Participation in the current Creative Europe programme for the period 2021–27 is currently still pending.
The comparatively small Swiss cultural landscape, while diverse along its linguistic regions, flourishes especially through exchange with other countries. The EU is the most important cross-border cultural funding institution in Europe, and as such is an important partner for Switzerland's international cultural policy.
Switzerland first signed an agreement with the EU in 2004 as part of Bilaterals II which made Switzerland eligible for the MEDIA programme at the time. The last MEDIA programme in which Switzerland was involved came to an end in 2013. Negotiations on Switzerland's participation in the Creative Europe programme, which comprised the previously independent 'MEDIA' and 'Culture' programmes, began in 2014 but were not concluded.
To compensate at least partially for the shortfall resulting from Switzerland's non-participation, the Federal Council adopted measures in 2014 for a transitional solution which provided financial support for the audiovisual industry.
Switzerland is free to participate in the current programme (2021–27) as a third country. Within the framework of the Dispatch on Culture 2021–24, the Federal Council announced that it would look into participation and draw up a corresponding negotiating mandate. Against the background of the overall relations between Switzerland and the EU and the need to align Swiss legislation with the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), participation in the 2021–27 programme period is currently still pending.
- Federal Council adopts the Dispatch on Culture 2021–24. (26 February) Approved by Parliament on 25 September
- The EU adopts its negotiating mandate on Creative Europe 2014–20 (7 November). The negotiations could not be concluded
- The new ordinance of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) on the MEDIA replacement measures enters into force retroactively on 1 January 2014; the measures are intended to compensate for Switzerland's non-participation in the MEDIA programme for the time being (1 July)
- The Federal Council adopts a negotiating mandate for the 'Culture' sub-programme (16 April)
- End of the MEDIA programme for the period 2007–13 (31 December)
- The Federal Council adopts the mandate for renegotiating the MEDIA agreement for the period 2014–20 (13 September)
- Entry into force of MEDIA 2007 (1 August)
- Signature of MEDIA 2007 for the period 2007–13 (11 October)
- Entry into force of the MEDIA Agreement (1 April)