The ERA-NET scheme, a tool of the Framework Programme for RTD, has the objective to develop and strengthen cooperation and coordination of public research programmes (on national or regional level). Partners in such a project can be "programme owners" (typically national ministries/regional authorities) and "programme managers" (such as research councils or funding agencies).

ERA-NETs can focus on thematic issues or horizontal issues, e.g. the SEE-ERA.NET project focuses on cooperation with South East European countries.