EC, UK reach political agreement on UK participation in Horizon Europe and Copernicus

The European Commission (EC) and the United Kingdom reached a political agreement on September 7 on the UK’s participation in Horizon Europe, the EU’s research, and innovation programme, and Copernicus, the EU’s world-leading Earth observation programme, an EC statement said.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, said: “The EU and UK are key strategic partners and allies, and today’s agreement proves that point. We will continue to be at the forefront of global science and research.”

This mutually agreed solution follows in-depth discussions between the EU and the UK and will be beneficial to both. It will allow the EU and UK to deepen their relationship in research, innovation and space, bringing together research and space communities, the EC said.

The September 7 agreement remains fully in line with the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the statement said.

The UK will be required to contribute financially to the EU budget and is subject to all the safeguards of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Overall, it is estimated that the UK will contribute almost 2.6 billion euro a year on average for its participation to both Horizon Europe and the Copernicus component of the Space programme.

As of January 1 2024, researchers and organisations in the UK will be able to participate in Horizon Europe on par with their counterparts in EU member states and will have access to Horizon Europe funding.

“This will reinforce the opportunity to be part of a worldwide network of researchers and innovators aimed at tackling global challenges in climate, energy, mobility, digital, industry and space, health, and more,” the EC said.

The statement said that association to Copernicus will enable the UK’s contribution to a strategically important space programme with a state-of-the art capacity to monitor the Earth and to access its services. Copernicus makes an essential contribution in reaching our European Green Deal and net-zero objectives.

The UK will also have access to services from the EU Space Surveillance and Tracking, a component of the EU Space Programme.

The September 7 political agreement must now be approved by the Council of the EU before being formally adopted in the EU-UK Specialised Committee on Participation in Union Programmes.

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