European Partnerships are initiatives in which the EU Commission and private and/or public partners commit themselves to jointly support the development and implementation of a research and innovation program. They make a significant contribution to achieving the EU’s political priorities, such as the Green Deal, Europe’s digital strategy or pandemic preparedness. Horizon Europe introduces a strategic and impact-driven approach to Partnerships with common life-cycle criteria. As a policy approach, they shall provide mechanisms to link R&I to policy needs, develop close synergies with national and regional programmes, bring together a broad range of innovation actors to work towards a common goal, and turn research results into socio-economic impacts. The strategic approach under Horizon Europe aims to improve the coherence of the Partnerships among themselves and in interaction with other instruments in the Framework Programme (including EU-Missions). In addition, the Partnerships are to be made more open and transparent in terms of participants, activities and results.

Eligible actions

Partnerships co-funded with a fairly centralized mix of EU and national funding sources, public and/or other R&I funding sources.
Co-programmed partnerships between the EU, Member States/Associate Countries and/or other stakeholders, based on MoUs or contractual agreements between partners, Institutionalized partnerships should be implemented only when other parts of the Horizon Europe work programme, including other forms of European associations.

Types of partnerships

Horizon Europe distinguishes between 3 types of European Partnerships:

  • Co-funded partnerships involving public authorities
  • Co-programmed partnerships between the Commission and private and/or public partners
  • Institutionalised partnerships, based on long-term dimension and need for higher integration under the legal framework of Article 187 or 185 TFEU and EIT-Regulation supported by Horizon Europe. They can involve several Member States, bodies established through a Decision of the Council or EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities.

The 3 types of European Partnerships are different from each other with respect to their implementation and certain other features. The Co-programmed are the most simple to prepare and implement, and the Institutionalised, the most complex.

For more specific information

Scope: Europe

Organism: European Commision

Nature of the project: R&D


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