(ANSA) - Brussels, February 26 - Swiss students will no
longer be able to take part in the Erasmus university
student-exchange program beginning in 2015, a European
Commission spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday.
A number of agreements between Berne and the EU, including
in research and education, have been axed after Switzerland
voted to impose an upper limit on immigrants to the country
earlier this month.
The country will now be excluded from the new programs
Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+.
The spokesman said that Swiss students would not be able to
take part in the program starting from the next academic year.
Students currently in the program, however, can complete
The vote in Switzerland to impose quotas on newcomers to
the country stirred alarm in neighboring Italy in terms of free
trade, cross-border labor, and upcoming European Parliament
Several hundred thousand EU nationals live and work in
Switzerland, mainly from Italy, Germany, Portugal and France.
In early February Swiss citizens voted by a narrow margin
to impose caps on immigrants, including people from the European
Union, giving eurosceptic and anti-immigrant movements a boost
across the continent while complicating the country's relations
with the EU.
Some 50.4% of voters supported the referendum pumped by
far-right populists, mostly in the German-speaking East.
"This goes against the principle of free movement of people
between the EU and Switzerland," the European Commission had
said at the time, adding it would review the impact on overall
relations between Switzerland and the EU.