Horizon Europe – a potential blow for British science and technology?

One of the more obscure (at least as far as the general public is concerned) areas of worry resulting from Brexit was British participation in Horizon 2020, the European Union’s Programme for Innovation and Research, which invested significant sums into European research and development programmes, linking researchers across the Union for that purpose. The transitional period appeared to allow British participation until its end, even if Conservative politicians seem determined to put that in doubt.

Now, the European Commission are proposing a new version, Horizon Europe, intended to take the programme forward in the 2021-27 period, and their concept is being scrutinised by the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. The rapporteur for the Committee is Dan Nica, a Romanaian MEP, and his proposals may be of concern to British scientists.

In summary, he writes;

Your Rapporteur believes that there has to be more clarity around international partnerships and associations and that the principle of reciprocity should be consistently applied. He considers reciprocal access and mutual benefits in all association and cooperation agreements with third countries, including agreements signed by funding bodies entrusted for direct management of the programme, as essential elements for successful partnerships.

What that means is that he has amended part of the Commission’s draft proposal as follows (additional language in bold);

(25) The Programme should promote and integrate cooperation with third countries and international organisations and initiatives based on common Union’s interest, reciprocity and mutual benefits and global commitments to implement the UN SDGs. International cooperation should aim to strengthen the Union’s excellence in research and innovation excellence, attractiveness and economic and industrial competitiveness, to tackle global societal challenges, as embodied in the UN SDGs, and to support the Union’s external policies. An approach of general opening for reciprocal international participation and targeted international cooperation actions should be followed, including through appropriate eligibility criteria, considering different levels of R&I capacities, for funding of entities established in low to middle income countries need to be applied. At the same time, association of third countries to the Programme should could be promoted where relevant and where reciprocity is guaranteed for the access of EU entities access to similar funding programmes of the third country.

In other words, further conditions are to be applied if a third country, say the British, wanted to take part.

It’s another potential blow for our universities and for our science and technology sector generally, and something perhaps that our spokespersons might wish to raise.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in Europe / International and News.


  • “Another potential blow”?
    The closing of doors to UK research establishments to EU science collaboration and funding was known about before the invocation of Article 50. Post-Brexit all R&D in the UK will be in competition with the EU27 Horizon programme.

    I think using language like ‘potential’, ‘possibility’, detract from the reality of Brexit and if anything nourish the delusion of Brexit “Have your cake and eat it”: The UK will be outside the EU, the UK will not be a part of these programmes intended to enhance the international competitiveness of the EU, full stop. Disagree, then tell your MP you want to remain in the EU.

  • David Allen 23rd Jul '18 - 5:28pm

    I doubt whether the Rapporteur is commenting specifically about Britain and Brexit. His point seems to be more generic, viz that the EU has not pushed hard enough to ensure it gets a reasonable payback when it supports R&D collaborations which extend beyond the EU. For example some EU R&D funds have been allotted to countries such as Georgia and South Korea, largely to encourage collaboration. Understandably the Rapporteur thinks there should be limits to EU generosity.

    Britain has been a highly valued partner in EU R&D for many years. But the way we are going, we will be forcing our way to the bottom of the queue. The EU can’t be expected to favour a country which threatens to turn tax-haven, which threatens to default on its agreements and obligations, and which trumpets its keenness to turn against its erstwhile friends.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohn Boss 22nd Oct - 6:25pm
    I have just reminded myself of the contributors to the Orange Book and very impressive they are too. We seem far too quick to rewrite...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 22nd Oct - 6:13pm
    @James Kenyon They certainly were, James. My wife and I arrived in Edmonton in July 1970 at the fag end of thirty plus years of...
  • User Avatarmarcstevens 22nd Oct - 6:13pm
    Not weakened enough for my partner's union to ensure she is not forced to work extra hours than those contracted and that rest breaks are...
  • User Avatarjohn boss 22nd Oct - 6:06pm
    In order to maximise support for a second referendum, may I suggest that our leaders make overtures to those who voted leave. We must accept...
  • User Avatarchris moore 22nd Oct - 6:05pm
    Not good enough, George. Quoting from the article you cite. The work for offenders "will include manual labour, improving public areas by clearing up litter,...
  • User Avatarfrankie 22nd Oct - 5:52pm
    Lord Wallace thank you for the reply, but I think the point I raised still stands. We should not be looking to drag regions up,...