Both houses of parliament on Thursday approved the disbursement of the Swiss cohesion contribution to the EU worth CHF 1.3 billion. The funds will go towards supporting the development of Eastern EU member states.
The Cohesion Contribution budget- independently managed by Swiss authorities – had been delayed during the negotiations with the EU to conclude a framework agreement institutionalising the bilateral relationship.
After the Swiss government decided not to pursue the negotiations for the framework agreement, it urged parliament to free the cohesion contribution as a sign of goodwill towards the EU. It was also done to facilitate participation in EU programmes like Horizon Europe and Erasmus+, which the Commission currently blocks.
Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič welcomed the Swiss parliament’s decision, but also stressed the importance of preventing such delays in the future.
(Janos Ammann | EURACTIV.com)