News archive - EU and FP7 Definitions: Where are we living?

This article published in the eJournal summarises important definitions for researchers located in third countries and who are dealing with "EU Jargon": What are:
Member States, Candidate Countries, Potential Candidate Countries, Associated Countries, Associated Candidate Countries, Third Countries, International Cooperation Partner Countries, Industrialised Third Countries?
And what are the Western Balkan countries out of these?

Member States (MS)
The European Union has currently 27 Member States, including Bulgaria and Romania which joined on January 1, 2007. The funding for MS in FP7 is made directly through the general EU budget. All funding is done on a competitive basis through calls for proposals.

Candidate Countries (CC)
Countries that have submitted an official request for membership to the EU and obtained candidate status, i.e. Turkey, Croatia and FYR of Macedonia. Only for Turkey and Croatia association negotiations have been opened.

Potential Candidate Countries (PCC)
Countries that have a European perspective, but whose request for membership has not yet been submitted or accepted (i.e. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia).

Associated Countries (AC)
Countries that have an association agreement with the EU either in the form of a bilateral S&T agreement granting association status (i.e. Israel and Switzerland) or in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (procedure for enlargement countries) or via an Amendment to the European Economic Area (EEA) in the case of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. All these agreements determine the financial contribution which allows the Associated Countries to be eligible for FP7 on equal grounds with the Member States.

Associated Candidate Countries (ACC)
Candidate Countries that have requested (and obtained) the association status for the Framework Programmes on RTD.

Third countries
Any country that is neither a Member State nor an Associated Country.

International Cooperation Partner Countries (ICPCs)
Third countries which the European Commission classifies as low-income, lower-middle-income or upper-middle-income countries and which are identified in the FP7 work programmes with regard to the implementation of Specific International Cooperation Activities (SICAs). The group includes the Western Balkan countries (unless associated), the Mediterranean area, Eastern Europe and Central Asian countries, Latin America, Africa-Caribbean-Pacific, as well as Asia. The ICPCs list can be found via

Industrialised third countries
Countries such as Australia, Canada, USA and the Gulf countries that can participate under the FP7 'Rules for participation', but under their own funding, unless the relevant work programme specifically sets out differently.

Although the Western Balkan countries fall into different categories i.e. candidate and potential candidate countries, with respect to association to FP7 they are all entitled to request association. Once they have obtained the associated status they will be removed from the ICPC list.

Article published in eJournal winter 06/07.
Author: Elke Dall, Centre for Social Innovation

Most Western Balkan countries are associated to FP7
retroactive from January 2007: Croatia, FYR of Macedonia, Serbia
from January 2008: Montenegro, Albania.
Then only BiH will not yet be associated to the FP7.

Entry created by Elke Dall on March 5, 2007
Modified on March 6, 2007