To date, European promotion and implementation bodies have concluded numerous bilateral agreements with other European AND third-country PMOs/RPOs. Nevertheless, in many EU countries, bilateral cooperation is a long-term practice, rarely launched and implemented by institutionalised and common procedures. Especially with regard to the motivation to formalize a new agreement and the circumstances that drive to strengthen it. In terms of motivation, examples of common challenges, common visions and interests, political and strategic objectives, and the „collaborative“ attitude of researchers are examples of stable and „historic“ cooperation between countries and institutions, formal and informal meetings between representatives of PMOs/RPO, conferences and seminars. The agreement is signed by the presidents of both organizations and is carried out in both official languages of the organizations and in English. As has already been said, some agreements are more concise, while others define in much more detail the specific aspects of cooperation, implementation procedures and financial rules. Among these, some bilateral agreements are supplemented by an endorsement. This document may contain information on the timing of joint research project announcements, project selection criteria, the scientific exchange procedure and the definition of the financial treatment of researchers. While the implementation of certain Oceans IYP measures requires the inclusion of the RPO/ORGP, which is highly likely, a multilateral and integrated approach is widely needed.
Networking bilateral agreements, decided at the highest level, can therefore, to a large extent, increase efficiency and avoid unnecessary duplication. Bilateral agreements are often very vague in the definition of the topics to be addressed. Indeed, they are defined gradually and over time on a frequency of implementation. In practice, bilateral agreements can be considered „limited“ research alliances without the need to provide a particular product. Trade between contracting and non-contracting parties to the Basel Convention is not prohibited.