European Commission and UK Reach Political Agreement on Participation in Horizon Europe and Copernicus

UK to fully associate to Horizon Europe and Copernicus from 1 January 2024.

Following a call between UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen on 6 September 2023, it has been confirmed that the UK will associate to the Horizon Europe and Copernicus programmes through a bespoke new agreement with the EU.

As of 1 January 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. 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.

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

Overall, it is estimated that the UK will contribute almost €2.6 billion per year on average for its participation to both Horizon Europe and the Copernicus component of the Space programme.

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

President of the European Commission, 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.’

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

‘With a wealth of expertise and experience to bring to the global stage, we have delivered a deal that enables UK scientists to confidently take part in the world’s largest research collaboration programme – Horizon Europe.

‘We have worked with our EU partners to make sure that this is right deal for the UK, unlocking unparalleled research opportunities, and also the right deal for British taxpayers.’

(This report was the subject of a RESEARCHconnect Newsflash.)