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Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is the main Research and Innovation Funding Programme of the European Commission.

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Horizon 2020 is the previous Funding Programme. There are no longer calls, but projects can run until 2024.

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International Cooperation in Horizon Europe

This infosheet on international cooperation in Horizon Europe will provide you an overview of the different forms and ways on how you can involve partners from non-EU countries in a Horizon Europe project.

Programmes Horizon Europe   HorizonEU L+F  

Published on | 1 year ago

Last updated on | 2 months ago

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Man Hei To


Horizon Europe will continue to encourage and stimulate cooperation with non-EU countries and is also one of the key instruments to implement Europe’s strategy for international cooperation: the global approach to research and innovation.

Most Horizon Europe calls are open to participants from non-EU countries, also called Third Countries. However in some calls participation from non-EU countries can be limited in order to safeguard the EU’s strategic assets, interests, autonomy or security. Limitations or conditions may also be applicable to the participation of legal entities established in an eligible country but which are controlled directly or indirectly by an ineligible country [Horizon Europe regulation article 22(5)].

Collaboration with non-EU countries is possible through different ways and forms. This info sheet will provide you an overview of the main categories on how partners from non-EU Countries can participate in Horizon Europe projects.

Please note that this information sheet will be updated regularly and the list of countries divided into the different categories can always change over the period of Horizon Europe. If you are involving a partner from a non-EU country in your consortium please always check the status of this country in Horizon Europe at the moment of submission in the Horizon Europe Programme Guide. Depending on the status of this country, entities may or may not be eligible to be funded by the Horizon Europe Programme. In some call topics, participation from non-EU Countries are also explicitly excluded so always read the call text carefully.


Third Countries interested in association to Horizon Europe

Association to Horizon Europe is the closest form of international cooperation in Horizon Europe. Entities of associated countries can participate in the Horizon Europe calls under the same conditions as entities from the EU Member States and are therefore eligible for funding.

Not only EU neighbouring countries can apply for association, any country in the world with a strong research and innovation capacity that share common values with Europe can apply for association to Horizon Europe.

There are 4 categories of countries eligible for association with Horizon Europe:

  • (a) European Free Trade Association (EFTA) members which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • (b) Acceding countries, candidate countries and potential candidates
  • (c) European neighborhood policy countries
  • (d) Non-EU countries  and territories that fulfil a set of criteria related to their economic, political and research and innovation systems

The current status of negotiations with non-EU Countries to obtain an agreement of association

(a) the association of Norway and Iceland was confirmed. Liechtenstein does not intend to associate.

(b) and (c): association agreements with the following countries have been signed and have entered into force - Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Israel, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Tunesia, Turkey and Ukraine.

With Morocco association negotiations are still in progress.

The negotiation procedure for association with the UK is still ongoing however the UK Government will provide a financial guarantee to ensure funding and continuity for British researchers and businesses participating in Horizon Europe. For the latest updates on UK’s association to Horizon Europe and for more information on the UK HEU financial guarantee, please consult the UKRO Factsheet. Please note that the British Overseas Territories will not be covered by the HEU association agreement of the UK, entities from the British Overseas Territories are therefore considered as non-associated third countries and are not eligible for HEU funding even if the HEU association agreement with the UK is finalised. If the UK is not able to associate to Horizon Europe after all, a package of transitional measures has been prepared and announced by the UK government and will entry into force.

(d) The association agreement with the Faroe Island has been concluded and is applicable. Exploratory talks with Canada and New Zealand have been finalised. Other exploratoy talks and informal talks have started with Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Australia to define their interest in association.

Switzerland has expressed their formal interest to be associated to Horizon Europe but currently negotiations have been put on hold. Until further notice legal entities established in Switzerland should be treated as entities from a non-associated third country and will not be funded by Horizon Europe. For the latest updated information regarding the association of Switzerland please consult the website of the Swiss State Secretariat For Education, Research and Innovation (SERI). 

Canada has also expressed their interest to become associated to Horizon Europe. Exploratory talks have been finalised. Until an association agreement is set in place, Canadian participants can of course participate in Horizon Europe but they will have to participate as a non-associated third country and will have to bring their own funding. The same counts for other countries who are interested in association to Horizon Europe and for which the transitional arrangements are not applicable.

Updates on the association talks can also be found on the website of the European Commission. An overview of the status of the association agreements can be found in this table and will be regularly updated by the European Commission.

Until association agreements are legally binding, the transitional arrangements set out in the General Annexes to the Horizon Europe Work Programme 2021-2022 are applicable for legal entities from countries who have expressed a formal interest in association to Horizon Europe and for which association negotiations are being processed or where association is imminent. These transitional arrangements will allow entities from countries for which an association agreement is planned in the near future to participate in proposals under the status of an associated country. If the association agreement with a particular country is concluded before the signature of the grant agreement entities from this particular country will be funded by Horizon Europe. For the most updated list of countries under the different categories, please always check the Horizon Europe Programme Guide.


Third Countries automatically eligible for funding in Horizon Europe

Participants from low and middle income countries (following the World Bank classification of 2020) are automatically eligible for funding.

A full list of the low and middle income countries can be found on page 13 and 14 in the Horizon Europe Programme Guide. Be aware that the following countries were eligible for funding in Horizon 2020 but not anymore in Horizon Europe: American Samoa, Chile, Mauritius, Palau, Panama, Seychelles, St. Kitts and Nevis and Uruguay.

Horizon Europe will also target some particular regions in their international cooperation strategy. With the Africa initiative the European Commission will seek to strengthen the cooperation with Africa to promote actions targeted to finding locally adapted solutions to challenges that are global in nature, but which often hit Africa hardest. This initiative will include call for proposals that require or encourage participation of African entities. Topics range from climate change, rural innovation, sustainable food systems and sustainable energy to bringing European highly innovative SMEs to the forefront of African markets.

Though be aware that a non-EU country can still be excluded from specific call topics.


Third Countries NOT automatically eligible for funding in Horizon Europe

Other third countries (e.g. USA, Japan, Australia, China, etc.) that are not associated to Horizon Europe or not listed as a third country eligible for funding can also participate in the Horizon Europe calls but participants from these countries will have to bring their own funding. They will not be funded directly by Horizon Europe. Participants from these countries will also need to explain in the proposal how their funding will be secured.

However, in some exceptional cases participants from third countries that are not automatically eligible for funding can be funded by Horizon Europe if some conditions are fulfilled. More detailed information can be found in the infosheet "Participation of Third Countries in Horizon Europe: implementation details".

Some third countries have created co-funding mechanisms which provide funding for the participants from their country in a successful submitted Horizon Europe proposal. In this document you will find an overview of the complementary funding that some third countries that are not automatically eligible to receive Horizon Europe funding, provide to their Horizon Europe participants.

Participation of Third Countries in Horizon Europe: implementation details

Detailed information on how to include non-EU countries in your Horizon Europe proposal, can be found in a separate infosheet "Participation of Third Countries in Horizon Europe: implementation details".

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Micado - Migrant Integration Cockpits and Dashboards

Atlas Integratie & Inburgering Antwerpen is an autonomous agency and a non-profit organisation responsible for implementing the Flemish integration policy on behalf of and for the City of Antwerp. Atlas offers several types of services for newcomers and Antwerp’s public and non-profit organisations.

In 2018, under the leadership of HafenCity University Hamburg, Atlas participated in the H2020 call 'Addressing the challenge of migrant integration through ICT-enabled solutions'. The proposal 'MICADO - Migrant Integration Cockpits and Dashboards' was approved by the European Commission and the project started in January 2019 and runs until June 2022.


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