07 Sep 2023
Stakeholder organisations welcome UK's rejoining Horizon Europe
Several European stakeholder organisations have already reacted to today's news that the European Commission (EC) and the United Kingdom (UK) have reached a political agreement on the UK's participation in the Research Framework Programme Horizon Europe, and in Copernicus, the EU's Earth observation programme.
LERU, the League of European Research Universities (LERU), says it very much welcomes the agreement and "applauds this milestone which reconfirms the close EU-UK scientific collaboration and paves the way for a bright future in research and innovation across Europe". In a series of statements during the negotiation process, LERU had highlighted the crucial role of the UK in European science and innovation. By finally securing the UK's participation in Horizon Europe, "LERU believes that significant strides will be made in tackling global challenges, advancing knowledge, and driving innovation. The agreement reaffirms the EU's recognition of the UK's scientific excellence and the indispensable contributions of its research institutions", the association (of which five members are UK universities) concludes.
CESAER, the association of universities of science and technology in Europe, warmly welcomes the UK's return to Horizon Europe, saying that the EC and the UK "have come today to a significant political agreement. CESAER sees the reintegration of the United Kingdom into Horizon Europe and Copernicus as reaffirming "the commitment of both the EU and the UK to advancing global scientific excellence", while at the same time stating that the association also looks forward to further progress in negotiations concerning the accession of Switzerland to the Framework Programme.
The Guild of European Research-intensive Universities (The Guild) also welcomes the agreement for the UK to associate to Horizon Europe, stating that "ecuring the UK’s place in EU programmes is crucial for shoring up the future of world-leading research, sustainable growth and high-level skills". Recalling the strong performance of UK researchers the European Research Council and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions in particular, The Guild states "any hesitant collaborators across Europe" can rest assured "that they can include UK-based researchers and businesses to build the strong consortia needed to address global challenges and generate transformative innovation". Like CESAER, The Guild also calls for "full association of Switzerland to Horizon Europe in light of today’s positive momentum".
The European University Association (EUA) "congratulates the UK Prime Minister and the President of the European Commission on the deal that has been reached for the UK to become an Associated Country in the Horizon Europe programme" as of 1 January 2024, adding: "We celebrate this commitment as a united European family of universities. It puts an end to years of uncertainty over the UK's status in relation to EU science programmes and is the result of collaborative efforts across the sector [...]". The association also states that this outcome will ensure "pan-European research which broadens our common understanding of the world around us and addresses the great challenges of our time" for the years ahead.
The Coimbra Group is delighted that UK researchers will be able to fully participate in the Horizon Europe programme on the same terms as other associated countries. Ludovic Thilly, Executive Board Chair declares: “Finally, common sense and collective interest have prevailed. In times of multiple crises such as those we are living through, open international research collaboration has never been so essential. We will now do everything we can to support Coimbra Group members in resuming smooth cooperation across the Channel for the sake of excellent research. Given its place among scientific nations, it is also an important step that the UK can soon take part in the discussions about the next framework programme and post-2027 research priorities.”
ALLEA President Antonio Loprieno underscores the importance of global scientific collaboration and applauds the landmark agreement between the EU and the UK for its positive impact. Mr. Loprieno states that he applauds "this watershed agreement which re-opens pathways for the meaningful scientific collaboration that constitutes a critical societal pillar", stressing that ALLEA represents more than 50 academies in nearly 40 European countries, including five institutions in the UK, and saying that "now that the UK has been welcomed back to the fold, the real work can continue".
Science Europe equally welcomes the new agreement of association of the United Kingdom to the Horizon Europe Framework Programme. Like several other associations, Science Europe also "continues to advocate the crucial importance of international research collaboration and the association of other eligible third countries to the programme, including Switzerland".
UNICA, the institutional Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe, states that "persistence pays off". It calls the UK’s return to the Framework Programme "a significant achievement that organizations and universities across Europe have passionately advocated for, marking the culmination of extensive efforts and a united front in support of research and innovation collaboration". UNICA also reaffirms that it remains committed to supporting the association of Switzerland in the same manner, calling Switzerland "an essential partner for the success of strategic areas and the European Research Area (ERA) as a whole".
On the British side, the Russell Group of Universities is equally positive about the UK's association to Horizon Europe. Chief Executive of the Russell Group, Dr Tim Bradshaw calls this "tremendous news for UK science, research and innovation" and states that "This deal is a true win-win for everyone". Mr. Bradshaw is convinced that "The research community on both sides of the Channel are raring to go and will spare no effort in making our association a success".
For more information:
For more background information, see also