At present, within the framework of the Swiss Programme for Erasmus+, only mobility projects to or from countries that are full participants in ERASMUS+ can be funded under the applicable Ordinance that governs use of programme funds (Art. 3 para. 3 let. a, RS 414.513). In the event of a no-deal Brexit, mobility to and from the UK would therefore no longer be legally eligible from the 2019 call for proposals.
However, if this is the case, the Federal Council will rapidly undertake to make the necessary legislative changes in order to avoid any financial shortfall for mobility be-tween Switzerland and the UK.
SERI has launched a total revision of the Federal Act on International Cooperation in Education, Pro-fessional Education and Training, Youth Affairs and Mobility (ICEMA, RS 414.51), in part in view of the upcoming changes resulting from Brexit. The draft law creates some scope for funding mobility with countries that are not associated to the EU education programmes. It is intended that the revised law will come into force on 1 January 2021.
Mobility exchanges between Switzerland and the UK in place before Brexit and carried out in the 2018/2019 academic year will not be affected. However, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, measures will have to be introduced so that exchanges can take place between Switzerland and the UK in the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 academic years.
SERI is aware of this funding gap and of the problems that it could give rise to. As soon as the legal situation is clear – probably at the last moment – SERI will act rapidly to find a pragmatic solution. Any decision on the matter will be made by the Federal Council.
If the UK and the EU do manage to reach an agreement and the withdrawal period of two years starts on 30 March 2019, funding for mobility between Switzerland and the UK will be ensured without any further measures being taken.