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On 18 May 2021, the Commission adopted a Communication on its Global Approach to Research and Innovation, Europe's strategy for international cooperation in a changing world. With this document, the EU aims to take a leading role in supporting international research and innovation partnerships, and to deliver innovative solutions to make societies green, digital and healthy. Despite the ambitious goal set for the public consultation stage, the new strategy does not encompass the fields of education and youth and basically replaces the 2012 strategy for international cooperation and innovation.
The new strategy builds on two principal objectives: (a) openness to multilateral partnerships around the world and (b) reciprocity and a level-playing field in international cooperation in research and innovation.
To this aim, the Commission intends to negotiate, on behalf of the EU, targeted roadmaps for research and innovation cooperation with non-EU countries with a strong research and innovation base. At the same time, participation in some actions under the Horizon Europe programme may be limited for legal entities from some countries based on Article 22(5) of the Horizon Europe Regulation when there is a justified need to safeguard the EU’s strategic assets, interests, autonomy or security. In addition, the Commission intends to present guidelines on dealing with foreign interference targeting EU research organisations and higher education institutions. These guidelines will aim to protect fundamental values by safeguarding academic freedom, integrity and institutional autonomy,
To achieve its goals, the EU will embark on several actions. For example, it will lead All-Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, Group on Earth Observation and International Bioeconomy Forum to ensure its global leadership in green transition and promote international digital partnerships in a number of fields including human centric policy, artificial intelligence, blockchain, etc. The EU will also strengthen cooperation on global health jointly with the World Health Organisation and international partners.