Today, the Commission and Turkey signed three agreements granting association status to EU programmes for the period 2021-2027: Horizon Europe, the EU research and innovation programme, Erasmus+, EU programme for education, training, youth and sport and the European Solidarity Corps.
Researchers, innovators, students, pupils, trainees, teachers, young people can now participate under the same conditions as participants from EU Member States.
Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, and H.E. Faruk Kaymakcı, Ambassador, Director for EU Affairs and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, signed the three agreements, which further strengthens the alliance between the EU and Turkey to deliver on common priorities, such as the twin green and digital transition.
Commissioner Gabriel said:
I welcome Turkey to Horizon Europe, ERASMUS+ and the Solidarity Corps. The Turkish participation in the new generation of our EU programmes will further reinforce their capacities and support integration into the European Research Area and European Education Area.
The association to Horizon Europe supports the ’Global Approach to Research and Innovation’ and reconfirms Europe's commitment to a level of global openness needed to drive excellence, pool resources for faster scientific progress and develop vibrant innovation ecosystems. Under Horizon 2020, Turkish participants received almost €277 million in EU support and showed innovation leadership and excellence across fields such as researchers’ mobility, energy, health and sustainability.
The strengthened partnership between the Turkish Research Area (TARAL) and European Research Area is bearing fruit with successful projects including; Black Sea CONNECT, a Blue Growth Initiative for Research and Innovation in the Black Sea, MAtchUP, transforming cities through innovative solutions and technologies at the service of local communities and, developing cloud services-based business ecosystem that supports B2B collaboration for industry, manufacturers, business, logistics and more.
Association to Erasmus+ supports lifelong learning, educational, professional and personal development of people in education, training, youth and sport, in Europe and beyond, thereby contributing to sustainable growth, quality jobs, social cohesion and active citizenship. Between 2014 and 2020, Turkish projects in Erasmus+ received €740 million.
In addition, the European Solidarity Corps enhances the engagement of young people and organisations in activities as a mean to contribute to strengthening cohesion, solidarity, democracy, by addressing societal and humanitarian challenges. The European Solidarity Corps supported 350 Volunteers (2018 and 2020)
Turkey has participated in EU research and innovation programmes since 2003. In 2004, Turkey launched TARAL – the Turkish Research Area (TARAL) - modelled on the European Research Area (ERA). This contributed in particular to progress in ERA Priorities related to e-infrastructures, open data and gender mainstreaming in research.
In 2019, Turkey launched a series of measures that led to the establishment of an Action Plan to boost the national research and innovation capacity and closer alignment to the European Research Area. This led to an increased participation in Horizon 2020, especially in the European Research Council, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, energy research and more recently in COVID-19 and Green Deal calls.
The new Erasmus+ programme for 2021-2027 launched in March 2021 with an increased budget of over €28 billion. The international arm of Erasmus+ will offer mobility and cooperation in education, training, youth and sport around the world.
The European Solidarity Corps supports volunteering, Solidarity Projects and humanitarian aid. These can be in a wide range of fields – education and training, citizenship and democratic participation, environment and natural protection, migration, culture, and many others. Funding is in the form of grants to organisations through call for proposals.