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Participation of Third Countries in Horizon Europe: implementation details

In this infosheet you can find detailed information on how to include non-EU countries in your Horizon Europe proposal.

Programmes Horizon Europe   HorizonEU L+F  

Published on | 1 year ago

Last updated on | 2 months ago

Author Do you have an additional question? Or spotted a mistake? Don't hesitate to contact me!
Image of Ann Van Hauwaert
Ann Van Hauwaert


The background of international cooperation including details about the current process of association of some non-EU countries is explained in the infosheet International Cooperation in Horizon Europe.

In this infosheet you can find detailed information on how to include non-EU countries in your Horizon Europe proposal.

How to include partners of non-EU countries in Horizon Europe proposals?

If the entity will be possibly eligible for funding (on the list of associated countries or automatically eligible), then this entity can be included as a beneficiary in the proposal (if it is not stated otherwise in the specific call topic you apply to).

But an entity from a country in view of association (as listed in the HE Programme Guide)  can solely be a beneficiary when the association agreement is signed for that country before the grant agreement signature. If this is not the case, then the status of this entity cannot be beneficiary but will have to be changed to associated partner and this entity can consequently:

  • not receive funding and
  • not be a coordinator of the consortium.

If a partner in a consortium is coming from a country that is not automatically eligible for funding or not in view of association, then this entity has to be mentioned in the proposal as associated partner. In some exceptional cases participants from third countries that are not automatically eligible for funding can be funded by Horizon Europe if one of the following conditions are met:

  • they are identified in the relevant Horizon Europe work programme as being eligible for funding or
  • they are deemed essential for implementing the action in your proposal and approved by the granting authority , for example in view of their:
    • outstanding competence/expertise
    • access to particular research infrastructures
    • access to particular geographical environments
    • access to particular data

Associated partners – some characteristics

  • do not sign the grant agreement, thus cannot be a coordinator
  • must be registered in the participant register but will not be validated
  • need to be mentioned in the researchers table (organisation data) of part A in the application form
  • they have to indicate personmonths of their researchers
  • can be a subcontractor but cannot be a way to circumvent the general rules for participation
  • the L&F helpdesk of the European Commission has indicated that associated partners can act as work package leader in a Horizon Europe project
  • in the proposal the budget for the associated partners has to be filled out in the column “Financial contribution”. This budget will not be taken into account into the indicative budget of the proposal

How to include Switzerland in HE proposals?

Switzerland has expressed their interest to be associated to Horizon Europe but legal entities established in Switzerland are currently not covered by the transitional arrangements set out in the General Annexes to the Horizon Europe Work Programme 2021-2022. 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).

According to the Programme Guide a partner from Switzerland should be included as an associated partner in the proposals, thus not able to receive funding and not able to act as a coordinator. Since things can evolve, the Horizon Europe Programme Guide should regularly be consulted.

In any case the Swiss government has declared that they foresee funding for all calls with deadline in 2021 and 2022 for all Swiss entities that are part of a successful proposal in case that the association agreement will not be signed (in time).

On this page you will find more details on the Swiss transitional measures for Horizon Europe. In this FAQ of the Swiss Government and FAQ of the European Commission you may find an answer to your most pressing questions regarding the participation of Swiss entities in Horizon Europe.

What if UK’s association to Horizon Europe is delayed?

For the moment, the UK is still considered as a country in view of association by the European Commission and therefore covered by the Horizon Europe transitional arrangements but association negotiations are still ongoing.

Until an association agreement is set in place, the UK government has taken measures that will guarantee funding for successful UK applicants through UKRI. This safety net applies to the first and second wave of Horizon Europe calls where the delay for UK association to Horizon Europe may prevent UK participants from signing grant agreements. On 1 September 2022, the UK government announced a further extension of this financial guarantee for all Horizon Europe calls that close on or before 31 December 2022. More details on the eligibility, scope and how to apply for this financial guarantee scheme can be found here. For the latest updates on UK’s association to Horizon Europe, please consult the UKRO Factsheet.

This webinar organized by Universities UK International, the UK Science and Innovation Network and the UK Research Office in Brussels will provide you with the most recent updates on the UK participation in Horizon Europe and give you more information on the UK Horizon Europe financial guarantee.

If your consortium includes a UK partner and the association of UK is still not concluded at the moment the grant has to be signed, then the Project Officer will contact the consortium. There are different options according to your consortium and eligibility conditions of the call topic:

  • you can replace the UK partner by a partner from a country eligible for funding
  • you can change the status of the UK participant from beneficiary to an Associated partner in the grant agreement, with consequently a budget reduction
  • you can add a partner from a country eligible for funding and change the UK partner to an Associated Partner

In case it would not be possible for the UK to associate to Horizon Europe the UK Government has created a new package of transitional measures that was announced in July 2022. This new package will be ready to launch if the UK is unable to associate to Horizon Europe and will ensure funding and continuity for UK participants in Horizon Europe.

What is the impact of the EU restrictive measures against Russia on Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe grants?

As a consequence of the EU restrictive measures against Russia, as of 10 May 2022 Russian entities are excluded from participation in the Horizon Europe calls. These restrictive measures also have implications on ongoing projects under Horizon 2020 or Horizon Europe whereof the grant agreement has already been signed and Russian entities are involved.

More and detailed information on the implications can be found in this FAQ from the European Commission.



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image of SAPHIRe - Securing the Adoption of Personalised Medicin in Regions

SAPHIRe - Securing the Adoption of Personalised Medicin in Regions

The Department of Economy, Science and Innovation of the Flemish government coordinates the Horizon 2020 Coordination and Support Action SAPHIRe, which started on 1 December 2018. The aim of the project is to secure the adoption of personalised medicine in all European regions, including sparsely populated and remote regions and regions with different innovation capacities. 

The activities of SAPHIRe are complementary to the smart specialisation partnership on personalised medicine – S3P4PM, which is also coordinated by the Department of Economy, Science and Innovation.


Read the full article for details  or Check out the other testimonials