Framework agreement: SBB suspended from an EU research program

The stalled negotiations on the framework agreement between Bern and Brussels have repercussions for SBB. The EU has put Switzerland's participation in the research program "European partnership for the transformation of the European railway system" on hold.

Sabine Baumgartner, spokeswoman for the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), confirmed the information to the Neue Zuercher Zeitung on Tuesday.

The European Union (EU) justifies this measure by the absence of Swiss participation in the new research program Horizon Europe.

According to the Zurich newspaper, the European Commission has blocked Switzerland's participation because of the lack of progress on the institutional agreement.

It also does not want to start discussions on research cooperation until Switzerland has released its second contribution to European cohesion, which was suspended by the Federal Parliament, adds the NZZ.

Ecological transformation

The EU believes that these payments have been due since 2013. The federal chambers had made the payment of new cohesion funds conditional on the EU's recognition of stock market equivalence. In 2018, Brussels had refused it, considering insufficient progress on the framework agreement.

SBB wants to participate in the new EU research program on rail transport with a higher contribution of several million, says the NZZ.

The "European Partnership for the Transformation of the European Railway System" is one of ten EU projects to promote ecological and digital transformation.

The European Commission is spending 10 billion euros on it. The rail program aims to make rail transport more competitive.