Policy: Windsor Framework Paves Way for UK Participation in Horizon Europe

UK and EU agreement opens door to UK Horizon Europe association.

After four months of negotiations, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have announced a deal ending the long-running dispute over the post-Brexit Northern Ireland protocol.

The deal, which gives the UK government a ‘Stormont Brake’ on new EU laws applied in Northern Ireland if politicians in the province object to them, creates a clear route for the UK to finally associate to Horizon Europe.

Speaking at a press conference announcing the deal, Von der Leyen said: ‘The moment we have finished this agreement [on Northern Ireland], when it’s implemented, I am happy to start immediately, right now, the work on the Horizon Europe association agreement.’

Reacting to the deal on Twitter, Jan Palmowski, Secretary General of the Guild of European Research-intensive Universities, urged policymakers to ‘bring UK Association over the line’.

In a statement, Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said: ‘With the Northern Ireland protocol impasse resolved, we need to swiftly secure access to the EU’s international research programmes. We welcome Ursula von der Leyen’s commitment to progressing association as soon as the Windsor Framework is implemented.’

The instruments that will make up the Windsor Framework package will be approved at the next meeting of the UK-EU Joint Committee. After that, the UK and EU will respectively take forward legislative measures to translate the solutions into law in both legal orders, providing the basis for these new arrangements to enter into force.

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