The UK’s association to Horizon Europe must be finalised now
The European Union’s research and innovation community representing over 1,000 universities and universities of applied sciences, 56 academies of science, 38 research performing and funding organisations, 33 rectors’ conferences, as well as 120 regional organisations, call for the European Commission and President Ursula von der Leyen to finalise the United Kingdom’s association to Horizon Europe immediately.
The success of Horizon Europe hinges on its commitment to excellence and global outlook. The European Union and the UK share a long history of close and trusted collaboration in research and innovation. This has provided enormous benefits to excellent research, resulting in countless collaborations to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges, boosting competitiveness and growth.
Based on the provision in Protocol I of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement for the UK to associate to Horizon Europe and the subsequent Q&A document from the Commission, for the past 10 months universities, European researchers and research institutions have been working with UK partners with a shared vision and in good faith that the UK would soon be a full associate member to Horizon Europe.
However, the absence of a clear timeline for finalising UK association is now causing increasing concern and uncertainty which risks endangering current and future plans for collaboration. It also sends unhelpful signals to other third countries wishing to associate.
The signatories of the joint statement urge the Commission and UK Government for swift and decisive action to avoid further delays or even non-association which would result in a major weakening of our collective research strength and competitiveness.
4 November 2021