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International cooperation

Considering the global character of environmental problems, international cooperation activities have become a top priority in FP7. The new framework programme continues good previous practices and opens all the research themes and projects to international collaboration.

A new element, however, is that the ‘Environment’ theme under FP7 comprises Specific International Cooperation Actions (SICA), which address research problems of mutual interest and benefit between the EU and international cooperation partner countries (ICPC) ( see list of countries  PDF icon ).

International cooperation activities have the following overall objectives:

  • supporting European scientific and economic development through strategic partnerships with third countries in selected fields of science and by engaging the best third country scientists to work in and with Europe;
  • facilitating contacts with partners in third countries with the aim of providing better access to research carried out elsewhere in the world;
  • addressing specific problems that third countries face or that have a global character.

Participants from developing countries and emerging economies, Mediterranean partner countries, Western Balkan countries, as well as Russia and the new independent states can be funded in the field of environmental research. Other third country participants can also participate in EU projects; however, funding is not available unless it is explicitly mentioned in the relevant topic of the work programme or it is clearly demonstrated that it is essential for carrying out the research activity.

Besides this general policy, there are some topics in the work programme where specific reference is made to the need for international cooperation with specific countries or regions. These references change with each call and we advise you to follow them each time when a new call is published. A partner search service has been set up to facilitate new collaborations with researchers worldwide.