Britain formally left those programs when it left the European Union in January 2020, and talks to rejoin as a third country have stalled amid a bitter dispute over Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit trade rules.
EU and island nation officials are now negotiating Britain’s long-awaited return to the science bloc programmes, including the €95.5 billion (HUF 36,000 billion) Horizon Europe funding programme, the Copernicus Earth-observing satellite system and the Euratom research and development programme. Nuclear Energy.
Talks finally resumed last month after London and Brussels concluded the Windsor Framework Agreement, with high hopes for a quick solution. The European Commission has confirmed that it will not require the UK to pay a retroactive participation fee two years into Horizon Europe’s current seven-year funding initiative.
London swings by for an even bigger discount
But the UK government wants a bigger discount. London argues that the two-year respite left British researchers and companies in a weaker position than their European counterparts.
Their exclusion from the early years of the program prevented British scientists from leading multi-country research consortia – an area in which they have traditionally excelled. Due to the continuing uncertainty, the number of applications submitted in the UK has also decreased.
London insists that the post-Brexit exemption must be greater than just two years of annual contributions. UK civil servants have done model calculations to estimate how much funding scientists working in their country can expect to recover in the last five years of the course, and they want more deductions to make up the shortfall.
As negotiations continue, UK ministers are threatening to abandon the Horizon programme, which was laid out last year pioneer Local “Plan B” known as
The association shall be based on an agreement favorable to the United Kingdom. Our discussions must reflect the lasting effects of the two-year delay with regard to the Baladna Assembly
Paul Scully, the Minister for Technology and the Digital Economy, said at a debate in Westminster Hall last week.
The European Union is not inclined to make more concessions
An EU official said the UK had not yet submitted a formal position to the Commission, but added: “We will not treat them differently than other countries. The terms of the association are set by law. They don’t have to pay for the first two years of the programme, but they pay for the rest.”
The talks are likely to drag on for several months, according to a British official who said both sides were aiming for a summer solution. This will allow researchers based in the UK to apply European Research Council (ERC), the crown jewel of Horizon and the part of the program that the UK has traditionally been interested in.
According to the Commission’s spokesperson, Great Britain can join EU programs immediately after the conclusion of the agreement.
Although the row over financial contributions may take time to resolve, the British and European science sectors are optimistic that after two years of stagnation and despondency, an agreement can be reached.
UK assembly is now an absolute priority
“My impression is that we are doing very well,” added Thomas Jorgensen, director of policy coordination at the European University Association lobbying group, despite “the UK being a little bit on cash payments and trying hard to bargain.”
Kurt Dictillery, that Association of European Research Universities (LERU), Secretary General of the Lobbying Group, the Commission is showing a high degree of flexibility and willingness to welcome Great Britain back into the EU’s science programmes.
But he warned that Brussels should not be seen as favoring Britain over other third countries also negotiating to join Horizon Europe, including Australia, Canada and Japan. All indications are that the UK Assembly is now an absolute priority for the Committee and certainly for Ursula von der Leyen as well.
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