Published: 17.12.2014

Agreement on Faroese association to Horizon 2020

The Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands, Mr Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen, together with the Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the EU, Ambassador Marco Peronaci, representing the Italian EU Presidency, and the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Mr Carlos Moedas, today signed the Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the Faroe Islands and the European Union. This agreement provides for the association of the Faroe Islands to HORIZON 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation from 2014 to 2020.

Direct participation in EU research programmes is of great importance to the Faroese research community, and now represents a major new pillar of Faroese relations with the EU, in addition to long-standing bilateral cooperation on fisheries and trade.

The Faroe Islands became formally associated to the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) in 2010, and already a range of European projects have had the active involvement of Faroese researchers and institutes in areas such as environment, climate change, ecosystems and fisheries management.

In his remarks during the signing ceremony, Prime Minister Johannesen noted:
“The Faroes will bring to Horizon 2020 and to our European partners a strong science base with clear strengths in specific fields, as an island nation with a strong marine-based culture and economy.”

“I see a great deal of potential for the Faroe Islands to become more involved in new and emerging areas of research and innovation, such as aquaculture, renewable energy and maritime transport technologies. As one of Europe’s smallest populations, the Faroe Islands can also provide European researchers with a testing ground for large-scale projects in all fields, including health research and many aspects of social science.”

“We certainly share the EU’s focus on the importance of promoting Blue Growth. Despite our small size, we see a role for the Faroe Islands as an important partner in both European and Transatlantic initiatives to promote cooperation on research and innovation. This is also why we welcome the strong emphasis under Horizon 2020 on innovation and the promotion of European excellence and competition for the benefit of all our economies and societies”, said the Prime Minister, Kaj Leo Holm Johannesen.