Brussels, 24 November 2008
Bosnia and Herzegovina becomes associated to the Seventh European Framework research programme (FP7)
Today, Bosnia and Herzegovina will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European Commission which will allow full access to the EC's 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7) which runs from 2007 to 2013. This "associated status" will allow Bosnia and Herzegovina to participate in all calls for proposals and compete on an equal footing with the EU Member States and the other associated countries for research co-operation and support actions funded under FP7, as of 1 January 2009. This agreement is an important step in Bosnia and Herzegovina's integration into the European Research Area and in the pre-accession process for European Union membership. Bosnia and Herzegovina is the 12th country associated to FP7.
The status of FP7 associated country will provide all scientific entities from Bosnia and Herzegovina – researchers, universities, associations or companies – with the possibility of participating in research cooperation with their counterparts across Europe and the world in order to build up their scientific excellence, including in scientific fields crucial to facilitate the implementation of EU legislation and standards. With Bosnia and Herzegovina, all Western Balkan countries are now associated to FP7 which will increase the research opportunities in the Region and support the regional competitiveness.
“I am pleased to see that with Bosnia and Herzegovina's association to the FP7, we have all the Balkan countries on board to participate in the European Research Area”, said Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik. “Research cooperation with Europe's scientific community is a tool that can smooth the way for the integration process of candidate and potential candidate countries into the European Union. In addition to forging links with scientists and companies across Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina will have new opportunities to work with its regional partners in addressing common challenges."
Commissioner Potočnik will sign the Memorandum on behalf of the European Commission at a ceremony held in Brussels today, with the Minister for Civil Affairs from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr.Sredoje Novic, who will represent his country.
Association to FP7 means that these countries compete in FP7 on the same basis as EU Member States and the other associated countries. It opens up research opportunities for the European scientific community. Traditionally the Balkan countries have a solid scientific base, and more research cooperation with the EU will allow for a greater flow of ideas, people and transfer of technology. The signing of the MoU is the last step in a long procedure starting with: the request to become associated; discussing the terms and conditions of the association to FP7 and completing the respective internal adoption procedure.
The FP7 supports scientific research in the EU and the broader European Research Area with a budget of almost 55 billion Euros over a time span of 7 years (2007-2013). It allows for funding of collaborative research in strategic areas such as health; energy; climate change, information technologies, nanotechnology or transport. FP7 also stimulates the mobility of researchers through Marie-Curie grants and has special programmes to support capacity building such as research infrastructure, research for small and medium sized enterprises and Science in Society.
The associated countries to date are Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Israel, Switzerland, Turkey, Croatia, FYRoM, Serbia, Montenegro, and Albania.
Journalists are invited to attend the signing ceremony at 16:00 (venue: Berlaymont building - 13th floor)
For more information on research cooperation under FP7: