EU/SWITZERLAND : BERNE SCRAMBLES TO REASSURE STUDENTS, RESEARCHERS AND ARTISTS.

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Switzerland presented interim solutions, on 7 March, to ensure its participation in EU programmes. After Swiss voters rejected the free movement of persons, Berne refused, on 15 February, to ratify the agreement extending free movement to Croatians. As a result, Switzerland's participation in the Erasmus Plus (training), Horizon 2020 (R&D) and MEDIA (cinema) programmes was suspended.

For this year, Switzerland plans to finance directly, project by project, its participation in the EU's training and research programme, based on a system used from 1995 to 2010 for the former and from 1992 to 2004 for the latter. The amount of 254 million set to be contributed to Brussels for Erasmus Plus, based on parameters in existence in 2012, will be allocated for that purpose.

Research Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann categorically denied rumours of tension with the EU before 9 February. Brussels had...

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