Horizon Europe budget discussions begin

Brussels – The European Commission has published its budget proposal for the period 2021-2027, including a request for €100 billion for Horizon Europe, the follow-up to Horizon 2020.

The proposal looks to increase the EU’s budget to 1.11% of the EU27’s Gross National Income (GNI), up slightly from 1.03% of the EU28 GNI for 2014-2020. It is proposed that budget increases will go to the digital economy, border management and security, as well as research and innovation, whilst budgets will shrink for both the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Cohesion Policy.

If the Horizon Europe budget increase is approved, it would represent an increase of 30% for research funding. The €100 billion proposal is less than hoped for by Commissioner Carlos Moedas, and falls under the €120 billion requested by the European Parliament, and €160 billion sought by research groups.

However, the budget increase does not include any future contributions from the United Kingdom after it leaves the European Union. At present, the UK takes around 10% of research funding, and if it wants to continue to be a part of the future Framework Programme, it will need to make contributions on top of the EU27’s budget. Norway, Switzerland and Iceland are also expected to contribute.

The proposals have not been universally well received, with the Netherlands and Denmark leading the call for a smaller budget, whilst France is already fighting against reform to the CAP. MEPs and research lobbyists are expected to push for a higher budget for research when the proposals reach the European Parliament, with the League of European Research Universities calling €100 billion, the “bare minimum for an ambitious, well-functioning and impactful FP9”.

For more information on the EU bduget, see the European Commission website.

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