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European Commission and UK reach political agreement on UK participation in Horizon Europe, Copernicus

Date Announced: 08 Sep 2023

Brussels, Belgium -- related mediaThe European Commission and the United Kingdom have today (September 7th, 2023) reached a political agreement on the UK's participation in Horizon Europe, the EU's research, and innovation programme, and Copernicus, the EU's world-leading Earth observation programme.

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “The EU and UK are key strategic partners and allies, and today's agreement proves that point. We will continue to be at the forefront of global science and research.”

This mutually agreed solution follows in-depth discussions between the EU and the UK and will be beneficial to both. It will allow the EU and UK to deepen their relationship in research, innovation and space, bringing together research and space communities.

Today's agreement remains fully in line with the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The UK will be required to contribute financially to the EU budget and is subject to all the safeguards of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Overall, it is estimated that the UK will contribute almost €2.6 billion per year on average for its participation to both Horizon Europe and the Copernicus component of the Space programme.

In more detail

As of 1 January 2024, researchers and organisations in the UK will be able to participate in Horizon Europe on par with their counterparts in EU Member States and will have access to Horizon Europe funding. This will reinforce the opportunity to be part of a worldwide network of researchers and innovators aimed at tackling global challenges in climate, energy, mobility, digital, industry and space, health, and more.

Association to Copernicus will enable the UK's contribution to a strategically important space programme with a state-of-the art capacity to monitor the Earth and to access its services. Copernicus makes an essential contribution in reaching our European Green Deal and net-zero objectives.

The UK will also have access to services from the EU Space Surveillance and Tracking, a component of the EU Space Programme.

Next steps

Today's political agreement must now be approved by the Council before being formally adopted in the EU-UK Specialised Committee on Participation in Union Programmes.


The UK association to certain EU programmes is governed by the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The agreement on the Windsor Framework earlier this year allowed the EU and the UK to open a new chapter in their partnership, based on mutual trust and full cooperation.

For more information

Joint statement by the European Commission and UK Government

Questions and Answers

Horizon Europe


EU SST – EU Space Surveillance and Tracking


Contact the European Commission
Tel. +32 2 299 11 11 from 8.00 to 19.00 CET
Contacts for media
Daniel Ferrie
Tel. +32 2 298 65 00

E-mail: daniel.ferrie@ec.europa.eu

Web Site: https://commission.europa.eu/about-european-commission/contact_en

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