The main student and youth umbrella organisations in Switzerland have launched a petition supporting the resumption of negotiations with a view to Switzerland becoming part of the Erasmus+ family. There reasons underpinning the launch of this petition include the fear of Switzerland becoming isolated and a European mobility and cooperation programme offering students, apprentices and stakeholders in the youth sphere more extensive participation possibilities than the current Swiss solution!

In order to support Switzerland’s integration into the European education zone, the UNES and a number of student associations have launched a petition, intended for the Confederation, supporting negotiations in favour of full membership of the European mobility programme for the period 2021-2027.

Following the adoption of the mass immigration initiative in 2014, the negotiations relating to Switzerland’s involvement in the Erasmus+ mobility programme were put on hold.To avoid depriving young Swiss people of the chance to participate in European exchanges, a “Swiss solution” was implemented for the period 2018-2020.

This solution nevertheless displays major restrictions and limitations for organisations in the youth sector, volunteers, students and apprentices as it does not provide the same participation possibilities as Erasmus+. In light of this, it is high time that Switzerland resumes negotiations with a view to ensuring its continued and full participation in the Erasmus+ programme for the years from 2021 to 2027.

Exchanges and mobility are important as they consolidate personal skills, broaden participants’ horizons, enhance inter-cultural adaptability and provide an opportunity to accumulate experience for the future in both the professional and private sphere. Furthermore, an exchange improves employability and fosters responsible citizenship.

In an ever-changing world, it is essential – now more than ever – to guarantee full access to all the possibilities offered by the Erasmus+ programme and to ensure that exchanges guarantee a comprehensive learning experience.

The petition can be signed online until 30 June 2020, after which the signatures will be sent to the Federal Council.

Abbildung eines schreibenden Stifts, Dokuments und des Bundeshauses auf gelbem Hintergrund.