CLARIN after Brexit

As Brexit looms closer, and uncertainty about the implications increases, it is worth pointing out that participation in CLARIN is not dependent on EU membership. Researchers in the UK are already reaping a number of benefits from our current status as an observer in CLARIN, such as access to language resources and services via their institutional single sign-on. This is thanks to work done by CLARIN to set up the legal, administriative and technical arrangements necessary to make this happen, and a snapshot of the growing number of resources involved can be seen here

Services offered by CLARIN

Some of the services offered by CLARIN

UK-based researchers are also eligible for funding for mobility grants, workshop and travel funding while we remain part of CLARIN. Institutions and individuals can participate in Horizon2020 projects as linked third parties and subcontractors, again, irrespective of EU membership.

To clarify the legal and political situation, CLARIN is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC), a new form of legal entity recognized by the European Commision since 2009. More information can be found here and here. The statutes specify merely that a majority of member countries of an ERIC should be EU members, and explicitly state that non-EU countries can join, and participate on equal terms.


There will clearly be multiple implications for the higher education sector as a result of the referendum result and the resulting changes, although all of these are yet to be worked out. Nevertheless, I am confident that we can continue to participate in CLARIN. I will continue to push for full membership of CLARIN for the UK. As already stated, the CLARIN ERIC statutes allow non-EU member countries to join - Norway is already in. We can make the case that full membership of CLARIN would be an effective instrument for ongoing collaboration with countries across Europe and beyond, irrespective of the political relationship between the UK and the EU, and perhaps an even more important one if other European connections are lost.