Horizon 2020: Switzerland fully associated from 1 Jan 2017 on

Switzerland has ratified the protocol that extends the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons to Croatia, thus opening the door for Switzerland's full association to Horizon 2020.

On 16 December 2016, the Swiss Parliament adopted the application law for Art.121a of the Constitution, respecting the Bilateral Agreements with the EU in all aspects. On the same day, the Swiss Federal Council ratified the protocol extending the free movement of persons to Croatia, thus fulfilling the necessary condition for Switzerland’s full association to Horizon 2020 as of 2017. As a consequence the status of Switzerland for the EU Framework Programme "Horizon 2020" (2014-2020) will change from partial to full association.

The negotiations with the European Union on the association of Switzerland to Horizon 2020 had been suspended following the adoption of the popular vote against mass immigration on 9 February 2014. Meanwhile, an agreement with the European Commission (EC) providing a partial and provisory association to Horizon 2020 had been found. The agreement offered companies, researchers​ and institutions in Switzerland access to priorities 'Excellent Science' and 'Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation' as well as to activities falling under EURATOM and International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) until the end of 2016.

The condition to be fully associated to Horizon 2020 as of 1 January 2017 was the ratification of the protocol extending the free movement of persons to Croatia. With this condition fulfilled, Swiss researchers and institutions will as of 1 January 2017 be able to participate in all parts of Horizon 2020, under the same conditions as Member States of the EU and other Associated Countries.

For more information and updated fact sheets on Swiss participation in H2020, please refer to the related Euresearch news.

Sources: Swisscore, Euresearch