The Federal Popular Initiative "Against Mass Immigration" on 9 February 2014 has caused quite some uncertainties in the Swiss RDI Community. Please be assured that until further notice the baseline scenario remains the association. The target is an agreement with Brussels by September 2014 when the first grant agreements need to be signed. If need be, the association could also be implemented retroactively.
In case Switzerland should not get associated to H2020, a fallback scenario will be implemented (i.e. third-country participation) that is currently being set up by the SERI. In order to be ready for both cases, the Swiss RDI Community is encouraged to prepare a number of precautions for their proposals, as recommended by the SERI.
While the diplomats are trying to find a solution that is compatible for both sides, i.e. Brussels and Berne, some politicians use the existing uncertainties to polemicise against H2020 and the EU as a matter of principle. Therefore, even if the arguments why Switzerland should participate in H2020 are overwhelming, the Swiss R&D&I Community must send a clear and strong signal of how important an international R&D&I cooperation is to them. The best way to do so is by submitting a high number of excellent proposals!
I am in close contact with SBFI and will of course keep you informed about further developments.
Peter Erni, Director Euresearch