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Research and innovation

Eastern Partnership

Policy background, funding opportunities, agreements and arrangements, projects and results and contact

Policy background

Launched in 2009, the Eastern Partnership (EaP) aims to strengthen the political association and economic integration between the European Union and 5 partner countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.

In line with the principles of inclusiveness and differentiation, the EU supports sustainable reform processes in the EaP partner countries via parallel bilateral and multilateral tracks. The former dimension reinforces closer relations through tailor-made approaches and incentive-based enhanced cooperation. Complementing bilateral activities, the latter provides a forum for dialogue and exchange with thematic platforms and flagship initiatives. Partnership with civil society and other stakeholders is also a key priority of the EaP regional cooperation.

Post-2020 research and innovation targets

In terms of research and innovation, the EaP regional dialogue boosts partners’ capacities by intensifying alignment with the EU research and innovation ecosystem. Building on the progress achieved during the first ten years of the EaP, new post-2020 research and innovation targets were agreed by the EU Member States and the EaP partner countries at the 6th EaP Summit in December 2021 in Brussels.

The new post-2020 research and innovation priorities are listed in the in the JOINT STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT – Recovery, resilience and reform: post 2020 Eastern Partnership and aim to increase the Eastern neighbours’ global innovation index score by three points through:

  • increasing gross research and innovation expenditure by at least 50% to ensure sustainable growth
  • supporting the green and digital transitions
  • ensuring solid citizen engagement in research and innovation actions, including in areas affecting the future of economies and societies
  • strengthening excellence and the technological base by increasing to 700 the number of partner countries’ participations in Horizon Europe and EU4Innovation
  • supporting the implementation of smart specialisation strategies and the development of technology transfer roadmaps by interested EaP partners

These objectives will be measured against specific indicators to take stock of the progress achieved in each Eastern partner’s research and innovation ecosystems.

The format of cooperation under the EaP on research and innovation was also reorganised. In order to achieve a swift mode of interaction on expert level, yearly people-to-people exchanges of the “Informal Working Group Meetings on Research and Innovation” were introduced. Since 2022, these gatherings have been hosted by one of the EaP partners (Georgia in October 2022 and the Republic of Moldova in May 2023).

Funding opportunities

Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion available over 7 years (2021 to 2027).

Horizon Europe

Support to EaP partner countries

The European Commission is implementing a project within the Global Support Service Facility to facilitate a stronger participation of the 5 EaP countries making resources available to help increase participation in Horizon Europe.

Projects and results

Research project database

EU-funded research projects involving the Eastern Partnership

For previous framework programmes, please contact the Research enquiry service.

Examples of research cooperation project

  • EMBRACE (2022-2025) investigates the cultural, historical and geopolitical contexts in which democratic blockages emerge and identifies ways to overcome such obstacles. The aim is to provide the EU with in-depth knowledge and an innovative policy toolkit, thereby enhancing partnerships for a stable and secure European neighbourhood and incentivising resilient political actors to embrace democratic change.
  • REDEMOS (2023-2025) investigates the legacy and potential of democratisation processes in the EU’s eastern neighbourhood, featuring a work package female-led structure. In light of sizeable political changes in the region, the project's vision shifts attitudes beyond an exclusionary focus on values, norms and procedures, to inclusive democratic practices through citizen empowerment.
  • SHAPEDEM-EU (2022-2025) rethinks, reshapes and reviews the EU’s democracy support policies in its Eastern & Southern Neighbourhoods. Practically, the consortium pilots a Democracy Learning Loop to create new channels and tools for interaction between the EU and its neighbours. These findings are then transferred into policy recommendations for an improved EU policy toolkit.


National Contact Points

The National Contact Points (NCPs) provide guidance, practical information and assistance on all aspects of participation in Horizon Europe.

European Commission

Silvia Bojinova
ENP Team leader – Policy Officer
DG Research and Innovation
Unit 03 – Horizon Europe Association

Telephone: +32 229 85891 | email: Silvia [dot] BOJINOVAatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (Silvia[dot]BOJINOVA[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)