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Participation of the United Kingdom in EU research programmes

08. Jan 2021

On 1 January 2021, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement agreed between the EU and the United Kingdom (UK) preliminarily entered into force. In order for the agreement to become effective, formal approval by the European Parliament is needed.

The agreement also sets the future possibilities of the UK for participation in the EU-programmes. According to the draft protocol of a Joint Declaration of the EU and the UK, the UK shall associate to the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe (except financial instruments of the EIC Fund as part of the EIC Accelerator). In addition, the draft protocol mentions the following research-related EU-programmes in which the UK will participate:

  • Earth Observation Programme Copernicus (part of the EU Space Programme)
  • Research and Training Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community, EURATOM (2021-2025)
  • European Joint Undertaking ITER (for the development of fusion energy)

Legal entities from the UK may also take part in institutional partnerships (actions according to Art. 185 and Art. 187 TFEU) and direct and indirect actions of the Joint Research Centre (JRC). Furthermore, (continued) participation in European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERIC) will be possible. 

In the Joint Declaration of the EU and the UK, both parties underline their intention that UK entities should be able to participate from the beginning of the aforementioned EU programmes and activities.