UK takes action against ban on EU research programmes – EURACTIV.de

Britain is launching a dispute with the EU over its exclusion from EU scientific research programs – using a mechanism enshrined in a post-Brexit agreement.

This is the first such case the United Kingdom has launched against the European Union since Brexit.

The UK government has said the country’s inability to participate in the union’s science and technology programs is causing “serious harm” in both the UK and EU countries.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the UK government said it had taken steps under the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) to “resolve disputes between the UK and the EU”.

European Commission spokesperson Dan Ferry confirmed that the UK’s request had been received and said the Commission would follow up “in accordance with the applicable rules” under the agreement.

He had previously announced that the EU would investigate, but there were “serious difficulties” because the post-Brexit trade deal did not commit the EU to making the UK an associated partner in such programmes. Additionally, no deadline has been set for her to do so.

The UK said it acted due to “continuous delays” in accessing EU scientific programmes.

According to the UK, access to these programs has already been negotiated for 2020, but the European Union has so far refused to finalize the country’s inclusion in academic programmes.

The British government said the UK remains excluded from the pioneering research funding programme, Horizon Europe, by the nuclear regulator Euratom and the Copernicus satellite monitoring group.

Foreign Minister Liz Truss said the EU was “clearly in violation of our agreement” and accused Brussels of “repeatedly trying to politicize important scientific cooperation by denying full access to these important programmes”.

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The UK has stated that if the EU refuses, it has “prepared a number of alternative programs to support British scientists and researchers”.

Such formal consultations on contentious issues are part of the UK-EU Post-Brexit Trade Agreement – known as the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).

After Brexit, the British government withdrew from the Erasmus European Student Exchange Program and launched its own program called the Turing Programme.

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