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Turkey has officially joined the Erasmus+ programme. The Agreement signed in May with the European Commission was ratified by the Turkish Council of Ministers and as of 18 June, Turkey is one of the programme countries, with available budget of around EUR 125 million per year. Being a Programme Country allows Turkey to fully participate in the programme, just like other EU member states, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
Earlier this month Turkey also signed the Agreement with the EU to join Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme. The country has already participated in EU research programmes for more than 10 years with over 1 000 public and private institutions receiving around EUR 200 million for more than 900 research projects.
Apart from high quality science projects and support for younger researchers under the Marie-Sklodowska Curie Actions, there were more than 200 participations in joint research projects by Turkish SMEs. Turkey’s current level of investment in R&D of less than 1% of GDP so it is expected that the country will use its association to Horizon 2020 as an opportunity to strengthen its capacity building on research and innovation.