International Cooperation in Horizon 2020

The EU Framework Programme for Research is one of the biggest and most open research funding programmes worldwide. Funding of international research cooperation will be continued under Horizon 2020, allowing researchers from EU Member States and Associated Countries to work together with partners from Third Countries within an EU project.

The EU also concludes S&T-agreements with selected countries, defining the areas and forms of cooperation. In addition, joint "roadmaps" with selected third countries – especially with the so-called BRICS countries – have been drawn up, and work programmes should be thematically aligned with these roadmaps.


In addition to the 28 EU Member States, the Associated Countries to the Framework Programme are also eligible to participate. Successful applications from these countries will, just like those from Member States, automatically be funded from the Horizon 2020 budget.

The following countries are associated to Horizon 2020:

  • Iceland
  • Norway
  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Republic of North Macedonia
  • Montenegro
  • Serbia
  • Turkey
  • Israel
  • Moldova
  • Faroe Islands
  • Ukraine
  • Tunesia
  • Georgia
  • Armenia
  • Switzerland


Third Countries

Many Third Countries neither being EU Member States nor Associated Countries, such as countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Central Asia and Mediterranean Partner Countries are also automatically funded from the Horizon 2020 budget. A list of these countries can be found in the documents accompanying the application (general annexes).

Under Horizon 2020, other than under FP7, not only industrialised countries (such as the United States, Canada or Japan), but also the BRICS countries (except for South Africa) and Mexico will no longer be funded from the EU budget. These countries are invited to participate in EU-projects with their own funding. Liechtenstein will also participate as a Third Country in Horizon 2020.

For exceptions to this rule, please refer to the rules for participation and the individual "topics" within the work programmes.

Matching fund opportunities in Third Countries

The European Commission has published an overview on current matching fund initiatives on the participant portal. There is information on initiatives in Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Russia, China, Republic of Korea, India, South Africa, Japan and USA.

They are available on the Participant Portal: International cooperation "Open to the world"  - section (available local support for H2020 participants from non-EU countries).