UK Participation in Horizon 2020

This document provides an overview of the UK’s relationship with Horizon 2020. This is followed by a Q&A,
which clarifies the UK’s eligibility to participate in Horizon 2020.uk_participation_h2020
The European Council formally agreed on 15 December that sufficient progress had been made to move
on to the second stage of the negotiations, and adopted guidelines for that second phase. This followed
the publication of a Joint Report on progress during the first phase by the Government and the European
Commission on 8 December, which outlines the agreement in principle made between the EU and the UK.
The UK and EU have committed to translating the Joint Report into a legally-binding Withdrawal Agreement
as soon as possible, subject to outstanding issues to be agreed as part of phase two of the negotiations.
The European Commission published their version of draft legal text on 28 February. The UK continues to
stand behind the commitments made in December and will work with the Commission to agree how they
should be translated into legal form in the Withdrawal Agreement.
The Joint Report states:
following withdrawal from the Union the UK will continue to participate in the Union programmes
financed by the MFF 2014-2020 until their closure (excluding participation in financial operations which
give rise to a contingent liability for which the UK is not liable as from the date of withdrawal). Entities
located in the UK will be entitled to participate in such programmes. Participation in Union programmes will
require the UK and UK beneficiaries to respect all relevant Union legal provisions including co-financing.
Accordingly, the eligibility to apply to participate in Union programmes and Union funding for UK
participants and projects will be unaffected by the UK’s withdrawal from the Union for the entire lifetime of
such projects.”
Horizon 2020 is one of the Union programmes covered by this text.
The UK Government encourages the UK research and innovation (R&I) community to continue applying
for Horizon 2020 funding and participating in Horizon 2020 projects because:
Until our departure from the EU, we remain a Member State, with all the rights and obligations that
entails. This means that UK entities are eligible to participate in all aspects of the Horizon 2020
programme while we remain a member of the EU.
The UK and the EU fully intend UK entities’ eligibility in Horizon 2020 to remain unchanged for
the duration of the programme, as set out in the Joint Report. This includes eligibility to participate in
all Horizon 2020 projects and to receive Horizon 2020 funding for the lifetime of projects.
The Government’s underwrite guarantee remains in place in the event that commitments made in
the Joint Report are not met.
The UK Government’s commitment to underwrite Horizon 2020 funding provides further reassurance to UK
businesses and universities. Through this guarantee, any successful bid submitted before the UK leaves
the EU will be funded for the lifetime of the project. This ensures businesses and universities can feel
confident bidding for Horizon 2020 funds while the UK remains a member of the EU.