British ministers have been urged to protect Britain’s participation in the EU’s multibillion-euro Horizon Europe research programme, after reports emerged of the Rishi Sunak administration’s plan to prepare a similar programme.
On Tuesday (March 7), Scottish Higher and Further Education Minister Jamie Hepburn wrote to UK Science and Technology Minister Michelle Donnellan. “Open discussions on legal engagement with Horizon as soon as possible” To formalize the country’s contribution to Horizon Europe.
The UK pulled out of the €95.5 billion plan over two years after the European Commission’s conditional association stance under the UK’s trade and cooperation agreement with the UK. The EU must implement the protocol in Northern Ireland
Following last week’s announcement of the ‘Windsor Framework’ agreement with the EU on the protocol, Commission President Ursula van der Leyen said the EU would start. “immediately” UK Associate Membership Finalization Process.
Mr. Hepburn added “If we partner with Horizon Europe, the UK government seems to think that participation will be cost-based from re-entry, but this is never guaranteed.”
However, Ms Donnellan said on Monday that a deal would need to be reached to allow the UK to join Horizon Europe. “Acceptable and Favorable Conditions” and refused to give firm guarantees that the UK would join the scheme.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is reported to support the UK-led Horizon Europe alternative plan, which includes cooperation with non-EU countries and European countries.
Ms Donnellan’s ministry confirmed it had extended its promise to pay researchers for grants received under Horizon Europe until June.
A deadlock over access to Horizon Europe, UK ministers promised that an alternative national research and development fund would be set up and that researchers and companies would receive at least the money they receive from the EU program in 2021. 27 EU budget period.
Last week the government announced that £1.6billion of funding originally earmarked for joining EU programs had been withdrawn by the Treasury, a decision which was greeted with shock by the UK scientific community.
Ratification of the “Windsor Framework” is expected to take several months and a vote in the UK Parliament is not expected to take place before the end of April. UK officials have therefore downplayed the possibility of the country’s universities and researchers accessing Horizon funding in the future.
“It’s hard to wave a magic wand and sort it all out.” A British EU affairs official pointed out that its researchers had been excluded from the program for two years. “were very backward”.
[Édité par Anne-Sophie Gayet]
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