National Information Centre for European Research

Widening participation and spreading excellence

Reducing disparities and the existing divide in R&I performance by sharing knowledge and expertise across the EU will help eligible to attain a competitive position in the global value chains and the EU to fully benefit from the R&I potential of all Member States. Further action, for example through the promotion of openness and diversity of project consortia, is therefore needed to counter the trend for closed collaborations, which can exclude large number of promising institutions and individuals, including newcomers, and to exploit the potential of the Union's talent pool by maximising and sharing the benefits of R&I across the EU.


As defined in the Horizon Europe Regulation, the group of so-called Widening countries comprises of:


  • 15 Member States - Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
  • 14 countries associated to the HE programme (as of 1 June 2022) - Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, North Macedonia, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine
  • 9 EU Outermost regions (as defined in Art. 349 TFEU,) - France - French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Réunion, Saint-Martin, The Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands.


This intervention area supports Horizon Europe's specific objectives: facilitate full engagement of Europe's talent pool in supported actions; spread and connect excellence across the Union; reinforce the creation of high quality knowledge; and increase cross-sectorial, cross-disciplinary cross-border cooperation. The four main H2020 instruments (TEAMING, TWINNING, ERA Chairs and the COST programme) will be complemented by the new activities and services.



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