The Stick to Science campaign demands association agreements for Switzerland and the UK to contribute to the European research and innovation support programme Horizon Europe. Both non-EU Member States, the UK and Switzerland, have failed to join Horizon Europe despite long-standing cooperation and diplomatic efforts, posing a significant threat to European scientific cooperation. The Horizon Europe programme (2021-2027), which funds research and innovation with a budget of almost €97 billion, addresses current scientific challenges that affect us all. The UK and Switzerland have offered to contribute more than €17 billion (18 % of the total financial plan) from their own resources to fund their participation in the program.
The world and Europe face significant societal challenges; thus, international cooperation in science and research is necessary. Disruptions to the ongoing collaborations among research centres and teams across Europe threaten research projects, cooperations, and partnerships. Both the UK and Switzerland are crucial players in European research. While Switzerland contributes vital health, ecology, climate, and quantum technology know-how, the UK is a frequent project partner. Also, 26 % of all COVID-19 papers have at least one co-author from the UK.
RECETOX collaborates with many European scientific institutions and has key partners in both countries. Prof. Jana Klánová testifies on the positive impact of the long-standing collaboration with University College London (UCL) and ETH Zurich. RECETOX works with both institutions to establish a European Centre of Excellence for Human Exposome Research. It is essential for the Centre that this collaboration continues. Jana Klánová believes that European scientific cooperation devoid of political constraints is crucial to achieving significant advances in human exposome research. Therefore, she asks that the association agreements be reached as soon as possible.