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Legal and Financial Aspects of Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 goes global

Applicants from non-EU countries (you may also encounter the term "third country"' to describe these countries) are always free to take part in Horizon 2020 programmes – even if the call for proposals or topic text do not state this explicitly. BUT they are not always automatically entitled to funding. All applications must meet the minimum conditions in the Rules for Participation.

What does ‘non-EU countries’ or ‘third countries’ mean?
This means any country/territory that is not one of the following: an EU country, an overseas country or territory linked to an EU country.

Applicants from non-EU countries fall into 2 categories:

  • those automatically eligible for funding
  • those not automatically eligible for funding (though they may still be funded in exceptional cases)

Applicants from other non-EU countries may be granted funding if:

  • Funding is provided for in a bilateral scientific/technological agreement or similar arrangement between the EU and the country where the applicant is based.
  • The call for proposals clearly states that applicants based in such countries are eligible for funding.
  • Their participation is deemed essential for carrying out the action by the Commission or the relevant funding body because it provides:
    • outstanding competence/e /expertise
    • access to research infrastructure
    • access to particular geographical environments
    • access to data.

More info can be found on the Guideline on Third country participation in H2020 and on the List of H2020 Associated Countries.

Swiss Participation in Horizon 2020

The result of the vote on immigration has caused some uncertainties in the Swiss RDI Community. Swiss entities may participate in Horizon 2020 actions as entities from any industrialised third country not associated to Horizon 2020. But Swiss participants are not automatically eligible for funding and will not count towards the minimum number of participants required for a project (eligibility criteria).

Switzerland is aiming to become again an associated country to H2020 and this as soon as possible.
Euresearch, the Swiss guide to European Research and Innovation, puts on their website the latest develoments in this field.