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The founding treaty of the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) [1] [2] was signed in 1957 with the goal of coordinating nuclear research and training in the European Community.

The main fusion research centres have signed “association agreements” with EURATOM, giving them direct and simplified access to the research funds of the Framework Programme. [3] With the exception of Germany, which has three large associated laboratories, all other member states have a single associated laboratory.

The association agreement facilitates access to the community funds subject to economic audits and periodic revisions of the scientific and technical programme. These control mechanisms provide additional transparency (over national control mechanisms) and, above all, assure the coherence of the research programmes, avoiding the duplication of efforts and deviations from the main research lines.