UK status: full-member, associated country or …?

Although an agreement has been reached, the status of the UK is not yet formally established. The agreement commits the UK to further negotiations in order to formally associate with the European Union’s research and innovation programme.

However, the UK will continue contributing with some funding to the programme, and its researchers can bid for Horizon Europe money.

The UK’s annual pay-in to Horizon Europe will be calculated based on the country’s gross domestic product in proportion to the total EU GDP – the so-called operational contribution. A further sum, the participation fee, will be levied at 4% of the country’s operational sum.

The operational contribution may be adjusted upwards or downwards retrospectively, depending on how much the UK takes out versus how much it puts in to the EU pot.

Negotiating the so-called association agreement for Horizon Europe is likely to take some months. If the UK is granted the status of an associated country in Horizon Europe, UK-based researchers will be allowed to coordinate projects. If there is no deal with the UK by the time the first Horizon grant competitions are announced, the European Commission may still grant the UK provisional eligibility to the programme.

Exclusion of the UK

According to the agreement, the UK has no further access to EIC equity funding and the EIB’s other innovation funding instruments.

Participation in programme committees

As a non-EU member, the UK will no longer participate in shaping the Horizon Europe programmes it has access to.

According to joint declarations, UK officials will have the right to participate as observers in the board of governors of the Joint Research Centre, the EU’s in-house scientific service, without voting rights. The UK will also keep its place in the European Research Infrastructure Consortium programme, which offers infrastructure funding for big research facilities across Europe.

Luxembourg relation with the UK

The UK’s continued participation in Horizon Europe is good news for Luxembourg stakeholders, as the collaboration with the UK has been strong in Horizon 2020. During the period 2014-2020, a total of 272 Horizon 2020 projects with at least one participant from the UK and one participant from Luxembourg were funded. This means that every second project in which a Luxembourg entity was involved also had a UK participant. From the point of view of thematic priorities, the collaboration was horizontal, with a main focus on ICT and Health.

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