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Commission criticises Horizon Europe’s human-rights reference


Complaint about explicit mention of rights comes as member states seek role in association talks

The European Commission has expressed unhappiness that negotiators from the EU’s political institutions made respect for human rights an explicit requirement for some non-EU countries to be able to associate to the bloc’s 2021-27 R&D programme, Horizon Europe, saying the issue is adequately covered by broader EU laws.

Association offers non-EU countries almost full participation in EU R&D programmes. An agreement reached between the European Parliament and member state governments in the Council of the EU in December added “respect of human rights” to the association requirements for some countries, alongside having a good science capacity, being committed to intellectual property rights and promoting socioeconomic wellbeing.

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