EU–Swiss research on shaky ground

Vote for immigration quotas leads to suspension of talks over Horizon 2020 programme.
18 February 2014

World-class research facilities, lucrative funding opportunities, majestic mountains and exquisite chocolates — Switzerland has long been a land of milk and honey for scientists. But the success of a ballot to stop ‘mass immigration’ to the small nation of eight million has worried the international scientific community and threatens to cut Switzerland’s close ties with the European Union (EU).

The binding nature of the 9 February referendum, which was initiated by a right-wing party and approved by an extremely narrow majority, will force the Swiss government to set yearly quotas to limit the influx of foreigners. Policy-makers in the capital, Bern, are drawing up a new immigration system that must be in place within three years…

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