(ScienceBusiness) Germany backs the “full participation” of the UK, Switzerland and Israel in multi-billion euro EU quantum and space projects, according to the country‘s parliamentary state secretary to the federal minister of education and research, Thomas Rachel.
The three non-EU science powerhouses face exclusion from key projects that have previously been open to association countries, which have negotiated access to the bloc‘s research programmes. See earlier reports in IQT-NEWS: Brussels is preparing to exclude researchers based in the UK, Israel and Switzerland from major quantum and space research projects,
“The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research supports full participation by Switzerland, Israel and the UK in Horizon Europe as associated countries,” Rachel, a Christian Democratic Union member of the Bundestag since 1994, and parliament secretary supporting Germany’s science minister since 2005, told Science|Business.
“In the field of quantum technology in particular, these countries have traditionally been important partners and should continue in this role in future,” Rachel said. The German MP is also a member of the Senate of the Fraunhofer Society and a member of the board of governors of the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development.
His comments, the most high profile intervention on this contentious issue so far, jeopardise the European Commission’s proposal to shut the its closest research partners out of sensitive technology projects financed under the Horizon Europe science scheme. The German statement will be cheered loudly by officials from EU neighbours who are fighting to ensure their researchers do not lose out.
With talks heading for a showdown on Thursday, when the issue is expected to be thrashed out by EU officials and member states in a meeting, the debate goes on over whether the EU should go it alone on key emerging technologies and block the three non-EU neighbours.