International Cooperation

Associated countries


24 September 2020

Science and Climate diplomacy in the Mediterranean region: Green recovery towards prosperity

On 22 September 2020 we discussed science and climate through the lens of diplomacy, looking at the Mediterranean region with Turkey and Israel, 2 associated countries to Horizon 2020, working closely with the EU in research and innovation.

Scientists, innovators and policy makers participated to the session “Science and Climate diplomacy in the Mediterranean region: Green recovery towards prosperity”, as part of the European Research and Innovation days 2020.

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23 September 2020

Geopolitics of Horizon association: from proximity to global

On September 22, 2020, the Associated Countries to Horizon 2020 as well as close EU R&I partners took part in the European Research and Innovation Days to discuss the geopolitical dimension of research cooperation.

Distinguished panellists outlined the mutual advantages derived from the Association status, for both Europe and its R&I partners. In times of global challenges and shifting alliance patterns, Association to European framework programmes helps to build stronger partnerships by pooling resources to increase R&I’s efficiency and effectiveness.

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Horizon 2020, the European Union’s (EU) framework programme for research and innovation is ‘Open to the World’. International cooperation is mainstreamed across the whole programme and developing global research partnerships is a key priority for the EU.

Scientific cooperation with non-EU countries aims to strengthen the EU’s excellence in research and innovation, its attractiveness and economic and industrial competitiveness as well as support EU external policies. Promoting a network of research entities and cooperation, the programme connects researchers and innovators to tackle global challenges in areas like energy, health, food and water as well as to deliver on the European Green Deal and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Moreover, science diplomacy is an increasingly important tool to enhance cooperation with non-EU countries.

Association is the closest cooperation modality with third countries outside the EU in research and innovation. It is an important means to make cooperation and funding of joint projects with international partners as smooth as possible in order to enable mutual access to excellence and research resources, pursue solutions to global challenges together and help companies integrate in international value chains.

Association means granting to the legal entities from the Associated Country, as far as possible, the same conditions of access to actions and funding from the EU framework programme as those accorded to legal entities from EU countries. The Associated Country provides a financial contribution in proportion to its GDP and on the basis of an international agreement concluded between the third country and the EU. Association to the framework programmes for research and innovation through agreement differs from the much broader ‘Association Agreements’ that the EU has with some third countries, which set out a framework for economic and political cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

In Horizon 2020, association is open to accession countries, candidate countries and potential candidates; European Free Trade Association (EFTA) members; countries or territories covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy that fulfil certain criteria; and countries or territories that were associated to the previous framework programme (FP7).

So far, 16 countries have concluded an agreement to be an associated country within Horizon 2020:

Countries associated to Horizon 2020 framework programme - (Last update: March 2019)

See also

All countries with S&T agreements