Three years after Brexit: UK returns to European research programs Horizon and Copernicus

The return to Horizon has been negotiated for months, and the agreement was finalized last night during a telephone conversation between British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Three years ago, at the time of Brexit itself, negotiations about continued participation in Horizon also took place, but those negotiations were deadlocked as long as there were differences of opinion over the trade agreement and Northern Ireland.

And now, according to the British government, a new “tailor-made” agreement has been reached with the EU. From today, UK researchers can apply again to participate in Horizon research projects. The European Research Program allocates a budget of 95 billion euros for scientific research.

In addition to Horizon, the UK will again take part in Copernicus, which is part of the European space programme. The Earth is continuously monitored by satellites to collect information about the climate and the environment. The UK will contribute an average of around €2.6 billion annually to the European budget for the Horizon and Copernicus projects.

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Denton Watson

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