Home POLITICS UK to rejoin EU’s Horizon Europe & Copernicus programmes (at an undisclosed cost)

UK to rejoin EU’s Horizon Europe & Copernicus programmes (at an undisclosed cost)

by EUToday Correspondents
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Horizon Europe
UK rejoins Horizon Europe.

“UK scientists will have access to the world’s largest research collaboration programme, Horizon Europe, as the Prime Minister secures a bespoke deal with improved financial terms for the UK’s participation,” proclaims a somewhat disingenuous government press release.

It continues: “From today (Thursday 7 September), UK researchers can apply for grants and bid to take part in projects under the Horizon programme, with certainty that the UK will be participating as a fully associated member for the remaining life of the programme to 2027.”

The lengthy – 2000+ word release, with no less than 15 quotes from the great and the good (including Rishi Sunak) – fails to mention that the UK was an active participant in Horizon until Brexit happened.

“As part of the new deal negotiated over the last six months, the Prime Minister has secured improved financial terms of association to Horizon Europe,” the Prime Minister’s office informs us, whilst failing to mention exactly what the “financial terms” (i.e. the cost of rejoining a project the country voluntarily left three years ago) might be.


Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

“Innovation has long been the foundation for prosperity in the UK, from the breakthroughs improving healthcare to the technological advances growing our economy.

“With a wealth of expertise and experience to bring to the global stage, we have delivered a deal that enables UK scientists to confidently take part in the world’s largest research collaboration programme – Horizon Europe.

“We have worked with our EU partners to make sure that this is right deal for the UK, unlocking unparalleled research opportunities, and also the right deal for British taxpayers,” – Rishi Sunak.

In fact, the Prime Minister’s office appears to blame the EU for the UK’s absence from Horizon, referring to “mitigating the impact that the EU’s delays to our association will have on participation rates of researchers.”

There is more: “The UK will also associate to Copernicus, the European Earth Observation programme. This will provide the UK’s earth observation sector with access to unique data – valuable to helping with early flood and fire warnings, for example – and with the ability to bid for contracts, which they haven’t been able to access for three years.” It is not yet being revealed what rejoining Copernicus what cost the UK taxpayer, however, Pre-Brexit, the UK would have been expected to contribute £750 million to the project’s 2021-27 budget of €5.4 billion.

Read also: New Horizon Europe programme office to open its doors in Kyiv in 2023

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