Although respecting the Swiss vote and the EU decision, the rectors regret the negative impact this will have on the strong Swiss research, innovation and education community. However, the Swiss work on alternatives for European research funds like the ERC-grants.
The present Swiss status of non-associated country unfortunately also disadvantages researchers and students in EU member states, seen the longstanding and excellent collaboration between Swiss and other European universities.
Whishing that negotiations resume
The LERU rectors have taken note of the positive initiatives taken by the Swiss Federal Council on 30 April 2014 1, aiming at re-launching the discussions between Switzerland and the EU, among others in the field of research, innovation and education (Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+). The initial positive, but prudent, reaction of the European Union is very encouraging.
The LERU rectors express the wish that the negotiation process between the EU and Switzerland on research, innovation and education can be resumed as soon as possible, and call upon all involved to act in such a way that appropriate solutions could emerge for Switzerland’s participation in Horizon 2020 and Erasmus +.
At a moment that the realization of the European Research Area is progressing significantly, it would be a pity to leave a country behind that has already contributed so much to that EU project.