On 29 September, the National Council will discuss a proposal from its Commission for Science, Education and Culture (SECC-N). The motion demands transparency regarding the used and unused funds for Horizon Europe.
In 2020, Parliament had allocated over CHF 6 billion for Switzerland's participation in the Horizon package 2021-2027. Due to the non-association, there is now a risk that these funds will not be used for the original purpose and thus not invested in international research. The SECC-N therefore wants to instruct the Federal Council to create a dashboard updated on an ongoing basis, that provides information on credit residues, commitment credits and the financing of further measures.
"Full association to Horizon Europe blocked"
For its part, the Committee for Science, Education and Culture of the Council of States is "very concerned that the full association to Horizon continues to be blocked" (media release of 23 August 2022, available in German or French). Since this situation will not change in the short or medium term, it wants to create a legal basis to ensure the financing of the current and future transitional and replacement measures, which will be financed from the funds allocated to Horizon Europe. To this end, it wants to create a fund limited until 2027 and has instructed the Federal Administration to prepare a corresponding bill. This will first be dealt with by the Commission and will then be submitted for consultation, probably at the end of the year. The bill will go to Parliament in 2023.
Parliament's autumn session runs from 12 to 30 September.