Open Letter on UK Association to Horizon Europe
04 November 2021
Representatives of the European Union’s research and innovation community representing over 1,000 universities and universities of applied sciences, 56 academies of science, 38 research performing and funding organisations, 33 rectors’ conferences, as well as 120 regional organisations (including UNICA), have signed an open letter addressed to the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to urge the prompt ratification of Horizon Europe association for the United Kingdom.
Starting with a statement that that moving forward from the Covid-19 pandemic requires a global community working together to drive research and innovation through collaboration, the letter leverages on the “long history of close and trusted collaboration and shared success with the UK” to stress that “Europe’s strategic autonomy requires close collaboration with the EU’s closest partner in research and innovation“.
Despite recognising the provision in Protocol I of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement for the UK to associate to Horizon Europe, the signatories agree that there is an absence of clear timeline for finalising the UK’s association to the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation and urge the European Commission to act: “Now is the time for swift and decisive action. Further delays or even non-association would result in a missed opportunity and a major weakening of our collective research strength and competitiveness.”
The signatories, representing European Union’s research and innovation community, believe that finalising this process is key to ensure a strong framework programme in research and innovation.