Many, if not all, the societal challenges on which Europe's research and innovation efforts must focus are also global. Pooling research efforts worldwide to overcome them is in the mutual interest of the EU and its international partners.
EU funding in 2010
€ 18.49 million
Therefore, the Union supports multicultural, transdisciplinary projects between partners from different countries and professional backgrounds to develop the high-quality knowledge necessary to tackle these global challenges.
The Lisbon Treaty specifically stipulates that the EU shall promote international science and technology (S&T) cooperation by means of its Framework Programme. FP7 is already the world's most open public research programme and a powerful instrument for addressing global challenges together with key world partners.
Thanks to the 17 current bilateral S&T cooperation agreements, nine fusion and eight fission research cooperation agreements within Euratom, the ITER Agreement, the Broader Approach Agreement plus bi-regional dialogues, partner countries are joining EU efforts to tackle global societal challenges. The Union has held 15 joint research committee meetings and nine Euratom Coordinated Committee meetings under its bilateral agreements. These defined joint roadmaps for future research cooperation, increasingly involving a substantial financial commitment from key partner countries. Bi-regional dialogue meetings took place in 2010 between the EU and the African Union, the Association of South-East Asian Nations, MOCO (Monitoring Committee for Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation in RTD) and the Western Balkan Countries' Platform.