Horizon Europe budget negotiations
By Ingemar Pongratz
The Horizon Europe Research and Innovation programme will start in 2021. Horizon Europe is the follow-up programme to Horizon 2020. There are a lot of news about Horizon Europe and the planning process for the programme is in full swing. The European Commission has stated that there will not be major news in Horizon Europe, compared to Horizon 2020, but I personally think that there are in fact very interesting ideas that will be implemented. Novelties include the European Innovation Council, where the European Commission is planning to continue the current pilot scheme. The EIC includes a mixture of grants, equity funding and loans which is a novelty for research programmes. Other novelties include the design Research Themes, where funding will be directed to specific societal challenges, among other.
The initial budget for Horizon Europe has been suggested to be close to 100 billion EURO which would represent a considerable increase compared to the current Horizon 2020 budget. However, the budget is not set. The negotiations between the Commission, the European Parliament and the EU member states are about to begin.
What can we expect from the Horizon Europe budget negotiations?
Several European member states, such as Finland and Sweden have stated that they oppose increasing their contributions to the European Union budget. This reluctance may thus lead to reductions overall including the budget for Horizon Europe.
So how will the Horizon Europe budget negotiations pan out?
I imagine that we will see a reduction. Funding is after all limited and all programmes will see reductions. In addition, this time both the European Parliament and the Europe Commission have representatives in new positions which may favours the negotiators from the European Council and the members states. It is thus likely that we will see a reduction on the budget for Horizon Europe. Hopefully the reduction will be marginal but that remains to be seen.
In addition, there are other developments that may influence the budget discussions, such as the recently adopted European Green deal. The European Commission has presented a new legislative package to turn the European Community into a carbon neutral region by 2050. This is in fact a very ambitious goal. The package may require additional funding for climate research (which may boost Horizon Europe) or lead to further limiting resources for Horizon Europe by diverting funding to the Green Package.
Hopefully, we will see that Europe recognizes the need to fund more research in the future to support a more environmentally friendly society.
Ingemar Pongratz is a researcher and entrepreneur. Ingemar Pongratz established Fenix Scientific AB / Pongratz Consulting and Letavis AB. Among other activities we help enterprises and universities to apply for European funding. Please contact us if you need our services. Use our online contact form or send an email to
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