Door remains open for UK participation in next EU research programme

Universities UK has responded today to the publication of the European Commission's plans for the next EU research and innovation programme.


The European Commission outlined today how it would like to spend €100bn on research and innovation in the next EU budget. The new programme – Horizon Europe – will cover the period 2021-2027 and is a successor to the current programme Horizon 2020.

Last month, the UK prime minister said in a speech that the United Kingdom would like the option to fully associate with the EU's next research and innovation programme.

Responding to the Commission's plan, Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said:  "I'm pleased that the European Commission's plan leaves the door open for the UK to secure participation as a full associate country in this next programme. This is something Universities UK has been calling for from the beginning of the Brexit talks. It was encouraging to hear the UK Prime Minister confirming last month that this is also the government's intention. We now need to see this confirmed as part of the formal agreement later this year.

"Today the Commission has set out an ambitious plan for the EU's next research and innovation programme. It builds on the success of the previous programme Horizon 2020, and provides increased funding for Europe's leading researchers to unite and tackle global challenges.

"The UK should be a major player in this next programme which starts in 2021. International collaboration is essential to the success of research and innovation. The EU's programme provides a ready-made platform for collaborating with key European partners, including six of the UK's top 10 research partners."



  1. For more information on the European Commission's plan for the next research programme, see the Commission press release

  1. In a speech on 21 May, The UK prime minister Theresa May said that 'the United Kingdom would like the option to fully associate ourselves with the excellence-based European science and innovation programmes – including the successor to Horizon 2020 and Euratom R&T'. For more information, see our response.

Key Contacts

Steven Jefferies

Steven Jefferies

Head of Media
Universities UK

Luke Lambert

Luke Lambert

Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK

Clara Plackett

Clara Plackett

Senior Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK


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