May 24, 2024

UK returns with visa concerns – Euractiv DE

the The European Union and the United Kingdom have launched a campaign to attract scientists to the €95.5 billion European research program Horizon. There have been previous warnings about high costs and bureaucracy in the UK.

When the UK left the EU in 2020, it also withdrew from the European research program Horizon Europe.

After years of uncertainty during which British researchers were unable to fully participate in the program due to political disputes, the UK rejoined the program in January.

At a meeting in London on Monday (12 February), UK academic, business and research leaders were urged to take advantage of the Horizon Europe funding opportunity. There have been concerns about costs and visas for European scientists wanting to work in the UK.

“There were some concerns raised by the researchers, also related to the cost of fees, healthcare surcharges and salaries,” European Commissioner for Research and Innovation Ileana Ivanova said in a press conference after the meeting.

“I don’t want to focus on a potential point of contention,” she added.

The UK was expected to join the Horizon program last year, which focuses on issues such as climate change and medical research. An agreement has previously been reached with the European Union regarding the movement of goods between the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

However, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delayed joining the program until a better agreement could be reached on budget contributions.

The Horizon Europe project has a budget of €95.5 billion, and the UK must contribute an average of €2.43 billion per year to participate.

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Earlier, Ivanova said on Monday that the UK must ease visa procedures or risk not being able to reap the full benefits of Horizon.

“We are facing some difficulties with European researchers going to the UK due to some visa issues and also high costs, which I will discuss with the British side,” she told the Financial Times.

However, British Science Minister Michelle Donnellan denied that the UK was having problems recruiting participants.

She said the “key message” from scientists, innovators and businesses was that “engagement” with the project would support their interests and boost the UK’s economic growth and development.

“You will hear directly from individuals who chose to settle here because of all these positive attributes,” she said at the press conference.

She said the UK would consider working with the EU on other projects “on a case-by-case basis”.

She added: “The British people voted to leave the European Union so that they could have greater control and have a say in its decisions.”

“This clearly means that the merits and merits of each of these different aspects need to be reviewed and examined.”

When it came to Horizon, getting back into it was “easy,” she added. The UK took its time to return to the project so that it would be beneficial to taxpayers.

“That is why we continued to negotiate to reach a working agreement,” she said.

[Bearbeitet von Kjeld Neubert]