As well as Horizon, Turkey will also join the EU’s Erasmus Plus scheme and the European Solidarity Corps.

The agreements granting association status for 2021-2027 were signed at a meeting by Turkish deputy minister of Foreign Affairs and director for EU Affairs Faruk Kaymakcı and European commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture and Youth Mariya Gabriel.

The programs will enable “thousands” of Turkish citizens to travel to Europe. Under current rules, only some non-EU countries are permitted to join Erasmus+, and must fulfil “certain criteria” like being a member of the European Economic Area.

“Thanks to these programs, our citizens will be able to develop projects, technologies and conduct research and activities which target contributing to solving global problems on equals terms with EU citizens,” Kaymakcı said.

“The Turkish participation in the new generation of our EU programs will further reinforce their capacities”

Gabriel, who represented the European Commission at the signing, was eager to welcome Turkey into the fold again.

“The Turkish participation in the new generation of our EU programs will further reinforce their capacities and support integration into the European Research Area and European Education Area.”

The Commission welcomed the agreements that mean that people from all walks of education, such as researchers, students, teachers, trainees and innovators “can now participate under the same conditions as participants” from other EU member states.

Previous to this agreement, Turkey received support from Horizon, including €277m in support under the 2020 project.

Between 2014 and 2020, Turkish projects in Erasmus+ received €740 million, and more than 36,500 Turkish organisations participated in the program with 315,000 participants gaining mobility experiences abroad.

The agreement signings are said to further “strengthen” Turkey and the EU’s alliance, to “deliver on common priorities” like the “twin green and digital transition”.

It also furthers the partnership between the Turkish Research Area and European Research Area, which has also conducted projects such as the Black Sea CONNECT research project and the local community technology project MAtchUP.

“These projects will accelerate the digital and green transformation of our country, especially the fulfilment of our obligations to the Paris Climate Agreement,” Kaymakcı added.

“Additionally, our students and young population will have the opportunity to study and volunteer in Europe.”

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