European Partnership Process – Strategic Coordinating Process


Horizon Europe introduces a more strategic, coherent and impact-driven approach to European Partnerships, and orients them towards the delivery of the EU priorities. Partnerships are a key component of the new European Research Area as they allow aligning research programmes in Europe.

With the Strategic Coordination Process, the European Commission has established a governance framework for the strategic implementation of the European Partnerships. The objective of the process is to support a coherent, evidence-based and strategic policy making process on European Partnerships, guided by a common set of criteria, and ensuring close cooperation with Member States. Concretely it aims to:

  • Support community building and mutual learning across partnerships,
  • increase visibility and strengthen communication among stakeholders,
  • provide policy-makers and partnerships with evidence-base through monitoring and foresight,
  • prepare strategic discussions on key policy issues,
  • ensure a feedback loop from member states and partnerships to develop, implement, monitor, and evaluate the partnership portfolio.


The strategic coordinating process consists of a number of well-coordinated elements to ensure delivery on its objectives:

  • At the core is the Partnership Knowledge Hub that allows working level interactions and meetings between the Commission, Member States (and Associated Countries), as well as partnership representatives and that drives the work along all the objectives of the strategic coordinating process:
  • A Partnership Stakeholder Forum, a regular (annual) event bringing together the whole community, provides a venue for networking, broadening engagement, sharing of experiences and discussing policy and practical dimensions related to partnerships. Topics relevant for all three partnership forms will be discussed and the thematic clusters will also be considered.
  • Strategic discussion at the level of the future ERA governance, prepared by the Partnership Knowledge Hub.
  • The strategic configuration of the Horizon Europe Programme Committee will be consulted on new European Partnerships under Horizon Europe. The selection of new and/or renewed European Partnerships under Horizon Europe will be fully embedded in the strategic planning of Horizon Europe, with the Strategic Configuration of the Programme Committee as the single-entry point for the structured and early consultation of Member States and Associated Countries, providing advice on the portfolio of partnership candidates.

These elements bring together the relevant stakeholders from Member States, the European Commission and the European Partnerships with the aim to jointly contribute to the successful implementation of the partnerships.

Strategic Coordinating Process (Graphic: European Commission)

The biennial monitoring of partnerships will be a key element of the strategic coordination process. It will include the following issues:

  • provide an evidence base for strategic partnership policy discussions for effective and efficient implementation of partnerships throughout their life cycle,
  • increase transparency and visibility of the partnership portfolio and impact,
  • feed into Horizon Europe's monitoring and evaluation activities.

An independent expert group was established to provide practical support in developing a framework for the biennial monitoring report on EU R&I partnerships (2021-2027). The first interim report was published in June 2021. The first report of the expert group provided a baseline and was published in May 2022 (Biennial Monitoring Report on partnerships in Horizon Europe).  The second interim report (A framework for the biennial monitoring report on European Partnerships) was published in June 2022.

ERA-LEARN supports the European Commission in the implementation of the process and the European Partnerships in the set-up and operation of the Partnership Initiatives.


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