Article 185 Initiatives

Related Files

Meta-Evaluation of Article 185 Initiatives

Last Change: 08/11/2017
Publisher: European Commission

Article 185 initiatives (Article 185s) are long term public-public partnerships (P2P) established on a voluntary basis by EU Member States that are also eligible fo ...

Article 185 initiatives (Article 185s) are long term public-public partnerships (P2P) established on a voluntary basis by EU Member States that are also eligible for a substantial financial contribution from the EU Research Framework programme. The main evidence for the Meta-Evaluation was based on an online survey of EU Member States and a series of Hearings with important stakeholder groups. One of the Hearing sessions involved the evaluators of the individual Article 185 initiatives so that the Expert Group could gain an understanding of their emerging conclusions. Two specific reviews were also carried out to guide the recommendations. One focused on the legal basis for Article 185s and to what extent there is scope for simplification. The other considered the underexploited synergies between the ESIF and Article 185s.

More ... Less ...

Category: Report

Article 185 initiatives are long term public-public partnerships (P2P) established on a voluntary basis by EU Member States that are also eligible for a substantial financial contribution from the EU Research Framework Programme. They are established through the EU ordinary legislative procedure and require a Dedicated Implementation Structure (DIS). By legislation, they appear under Article 185 TFEU (ex Article 169 TEC).

Article 185 initiatives are set up by the co-decision procedure consisting of a proposal made by the European Commission, the decision of the European Parliament and the Council on each individual initiative, followed by a Council Regulation.

They aim at addressing common challenges in specific research areas by creating economies of scale and synergies between national and EU research programmes and investments. Their ambition is to achieve scientific, managerial and financial integration amongst national research programmes in a given field.

State of Play

Currently six Article 185 initiatives are ongoing. They feature a high degree of diversity in terms of scope, participation, management and funding modes.

  • AAL: Active and Assisted Living Programme
  • EDCTP: European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership
  • EMPIR: European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research
  • EUROSTARS: Support for research performing SMEs
  • BONUS: Joint Baltic Sea Research Programme
  • PRIMA: Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area

Criteria for a new initiative

The following criteria are the basis for the establishment of an activity according to Art. 185:

  • relevance to objectives of the Member States
  • existing or envisaged research programmes or national/regional budgets that can be committed)
  • European added value
  • critical mass
  • efficiency of Article 185 as the most appropriate means
  • three levels of integration: scientific, management and financial
  • the Rules for Participation of the FP

Legal structure and funding

  • requires a Dedicated Implementation Structure (DIS)
  • participating MS can decide on the appropriate legal structure and the modalities of its functioning on a case-by-case basis
  • Member States might designate an organisation (e.g. agency) to become part of the DIS; if so, MS have to empower it to act on behalf of the state.
  • Contributions of MS in cash or in-kind
  • One case of a real common pot (BONUS) in project funding

The following models have been established as dedicated implementation structures so far:

  • European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG) (BONUS and EDCTP1)
  • EUREKA Secretariat (EUROSTARS)
  • International not-for-profit association under Belgian law (AAL-Association)
  • EDCTP Association: International not-for-profit association under Dutch law (EDCTP2)
  • European Association of National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET) (EMRP)
  • PRIMA Foundation: management body (PRIMA)

Each initiative might decide on the implementation modalities and the decision-making processes according to its particular requirements.

More information

Art 185 initiatives on the EC website