Connect with us

World

‘Win-win’: UK set to return to key EU research programme on 1 January

Published

on

‘Win-win’: UK set to return to key EU research programme on 1 January

The United Kingdom will make its return to the European Union’s science research programme, Horizon Europe, on 1 January 2024, both sides confirmed on Monday.

ADVERTISEMENT

The announcement was made after the political agreement to allow the UK to rejoin Horizon as well as Copernicus, the Earth observation component of the EU’s space programme, was adopted.

To become an associate country, London will have to contribute €2.43 billion per year on average to the EU budget for Horizon Europe, with an additional €154 million for Copernicus.  

“I’m happy to welcome the UK back to the Horizon family. This is a real milestone, a clear win-win for both sides and for global scientific progress,” lliana Ivanova, the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said in a statement. 

“Together, we can push further and faster. I have made association of non-EU countries to Horizon Europe my personal priority, and we are delivering,” she added.

Advertisement

Michelle Donelan, the British Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, who was in Brussels on Monday, meanwhile said that “being part of Horizon and Copernicus is a colossal win for the UK’s science, research and business communities, as well as for economic growth and job creation – all part of the long-term decisions the UK Government is taking to secure a brighter future”.

‘We will have a seat at the table’

According to the government, the renewed access to Horizon funding should create and support thousands of new jobs.

The deal for the UK to return to both programmes was struck two months ago with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak then touting a “bespoke” agreement that includes “improved financial terms of association.”

The UK stressed for instance that it now has “a new automatic clawback” that would allow it to be compensated should UK scientists receive significantly less money than the UK puts into the programme.

It will also benefit from a so-called “overperformance indicator”, Donelan told reporters, meaning that the UK will be able to “actually draw out more than we put in up to 8% for two years consecutively.”

Advertisement

The UK was previously one of the main recipients of EU grants under Horizon and exclusion from the programme —  which has a €95.5 billion envelope to fund research and innovation in science and technology for the 2021-27 period — had led British universities to issue warnings that their academic leadership could be undermined. 

Talks, however, had dragged on as relations between the two sides soured under the leadership of then-premier Boris Johnson. But a breakthrough in February with the Windsor Framework, to resolve the thorny issue of Northern Ireland, led to a resumption of talks.

As an associate country, the UK will not have voting rights but Donelan insisted it “doesn’t mean that we won’t be an influential partner within the scheme.”

“This [Horizon] is now very global in nature, it is the largest research and collaboration programme in the world. New Zealand’s a member, Canada is about to join and more countries I know are eager to participate too. We will have a seat at the table. We will be able to lead programmes,” she said. 

‘Tangible, long-term benefits’

Vivienne Stern MBE, chief executive of Universities UK, welcomed the adoption of the political agreement, describing it as “a momentous day”.

Advertisement

“This is a win-win. The UK scientific community has a huge contribution to make to the generation of new knowledge as an associated country, and also stands to benefit from the opportunity to work seamlessly with researchers all over the world, in the EU and beyond it,” she added.

Professor Julia Black, President of the British Academy, also cheered the announcement: “From researchers embarking onto the early stages of their career, to cross-disciplinary teams collaborating to tackle key issues, to research bodies and funders like us: we all welcome today’s Association to Horizon Europe.”

“We strongly encourage researchers, businesses and innovators across the broad arc of our disciplines to seek out the opportunities opened up by Association. They carry with them tangible, long-term benefits for people and society,” she added in a statement.

The UK’s yearly contribution of €2.43 billion extends to 2027, at which point it will have to be renegotiated.

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

World

Trump Urges Judge Not to Impose Gag Order in NY Criminal Hush Money Case

Published

on

Trump Urges Judge Not to Impose Gag Order in NY Criminal Hush Money Case
By Luc Cohen NEW YORK (Reuters) – Donald Trump on Monday asked a judge to reject a gag order request from prosecutors in the former president’s upcoming New York criminal trial involving hush money paid to a porn star, arguing such an order would infringe on his right to free speech. Manhattan …
Continue Reading

World

Greek authorities rescue 100 migrants found in vessel off southern mainland

Published

on

Greek authorities rescue 100 migrants found in vessel off southern mainland

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek authorities on Monday rescued 100 migrants found on a smuggling vessel in distress off the country’s southern mainland, officials said.

GREECE LEGALIZES SAME-SEX CIVIL MARRIAGE DESPITE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH OPPOSITION

The coast guard said the migrants were taken off their vessel by a tugboat that had been ordered to the area and safely carried them to the southeastern village of Monemvasia. No injuries were reported.

The Greek flag as seen on a flagpole waving in the blue sky during a summer sunny day at the Greek capital city Athens. July 2022  (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The smuggling vessel was located off Cape Maleas, at the southeastern tip of the Peloponnese region, the coast guard said.

Advertisement

No further detail was immediately known on the nationalities of the migrants, the type of vessel they were on or where they had sailed from.

The area where the incident occurred is on a route used by smugglers to send migrants in overcrowded sailing yachts from Turkey to Italy, skirting southern Greece and avoiding the heavily patrolled waters off the eastern Aegean Sea islands.

Continue Reading

World

India’s unrealistic demands sank WTO agri talks, claims commissioner

Published

on

India’s unrealistic demands sank WTO agri talks, claims commissioner

EU executive blamed India’s hard stance on food stockpiling for lack of breakthrough at World Trade Organisation’s biennial agriculture ministerial.

ADVERTISEMENT

Despite an eleventh-hour attempt, the more than 1000 WTO delegates gathered in Abu Dhabi last week failed to agree to a major reform of the global trade rules for food subsidies.

“We did not progress on an agriculture package, to the detriment of most vulnerable countries, despite our pragmatic engagement. Divergences were too large to be solved,” said Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis in a statement.

The bloc’s Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski went further, saying the reason WTO members could not finally agree fell to “to unrealistic demands, in particular on the issue of public stockholding for food security purposes”.

Throughout the negotiations, India played hardball on the matter and led countries seeking to find a permanent solution to the so-called public stockholding (PSH).

This is a policy tool used to stockpile and distribute food, such as providing quantities of grain at subsidised prices to vulnerable population groups to lower the price of food for the most exposed.

Advertisement

Current WTO rules set a limit to the percentage of a country’s production that can be used for this form of agricultural subsidy – a threshold that India and other less-developed countries want to see raised.

Experts backing these countries argue that stricter WTO rules on PHS will not allow governments to build and manage public food reserves.

Such stockpiling is seen as running counter to free trade principles, however, particularly during crises, and has always been a red line in EU trade talks involving global food security.

“While public stockholding programs may be essential to contribute to domestic food security, if implemented as support to producers’ prices, they may negatively affect agricultural trade and impact food security of other countries,” the Commission said in a note.

The topic received renewed attention after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine which severely impacted food commodity markets.

Advertisement

In the aftermath of Ukraine’s war, the EU and other Western countries stressed the need for trade flow to continue for all stocks, while India and its allies defended their right to safeguard food stocks for their populations.

During the talks, India argued that a permanent solution on food stockpiling has been pending for 11 years since 2013.

A source close to the negotiations told Euronews that the most likely outcome at the beginning of the talks was a commitment to a new deadline for a PHS agreement without any substantial decision on the matter.

Contrary to expectations India’s Trade Minister Piyush Goyal stood firm on its negotiating mandate and refused to compromise on the matter.

The issue was sensitive for the Indian government as country’s farmers have been protesting for more than 12 months and Indian premier Narendra Modi is seeking re-election in a national poll slated for this April and May.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending