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Horizon Europe – budget cutbacks after EU Council summit

21st July 2020 at 5:42 pm

Yesterday, on 20 July 2020, the EU Council agreed on a pared-back budget of €80.9 billion for Horizon Europe – the next research and innovation framework programme.

On 27 May, the European Commission put forward its proposal of a €13.5 billion increase of the Horizon Europe budget for a new recovery instrument called ‘Next Generation EU’, an ambitious recovery plan in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This would have resulted in a proposed budget of €94.4 billion. However, during the five-day summit of EU leaders to debate the EU’s long-term budget and a post-pandemic economic recovery plan, the R&D programme has suffered from multiple cutbacks. The core programme of Horizon Europe supporting European partnerships in their research and innovation to deliver on global challenges and industrial modernisation will be allocated €75.9 billion and an additional €5 billion from the proposed €13.5 billion boost of the pandemic recovery fund.

However, the budgetary authority not only includes the Council but also the European Parliament. They will have a say next in the negotiations of the 2021-2027 multiannual budget and it is to hope that they are more supportive of research funding. After all, research is the backbone of innovation in Europe and its global competitiveness.

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