The JRC has over 200 operational cooperation agreements and plays an active role in fostering international and cross-regional networks to help tackle pressing concerns in a harmonised and effective manner. This work is important for promoting knowledge transfer and for establishing international standards, for instance for a common electrified transport system in the whole of Europe and on the other side of the Atlantic, which is also able to incorporate energy from renewable sources. An example of cross-regional collaboration is the JRC's scientific support to implement the Danube Strategy, aiming to improve economic development across the region.
The European Commission's science and knowledge service also has strong partnerships with the Member States not only at national, but also at regional level. It cooperates closely with them to facilitate the establishment of closer links between the European scientific community and the Commission through partnerships with universities, national academies and other umbrella research organisations. The JRC supports Member States' national parliaments, ministries and agencies amongst others, in areas where it has developed special competences. The JRC also contributes to the functioning of the European Research Area (ERA), for example through providing opportunities to doctorate, post-doctorate and detached national experts to work in the JRC. The JRC's partnerships with key industry associations are also crucial as they provide opportunities for exchange on research and technological developments.
In line with Horizon 2020, the European Commission's research and innovation programme for 2014-2020, the JRC pursues a strategic approach to international cooperation, in order to facilitate access to the best researchers and best sources of expertise globally. Collaboration with Horizon 2020 associated countries helps building up research capacity there, facilitates applying the EU standards in the scientific and technical fields and encourages networking and exchanges.
The international relations in the context of Horizon 2020 focus on key priority countries (USA, Brazil, China, India, Japan and Russia), international organisations (UN, OECD, WHO, World Bank, ...) and regional entities (African Union Commission, ...) where sharing of knowledge will bring benefits to the JRC and the global scientific community.