The proposal for the future framework programme – Horizon Europe – was unveiled by the European Commission on 2 May, launching a lengthy process of negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council over the next few months. The proposal sets €100 billion for the successor programme to Horizon2020 and for the nuclear research programme, Euratom.
EuCheMS welcomes the Commission’s proposal and recognises the significance of an increased budget, especially in light of the UK’s departure from the EU. It is all the more encouraging to hear many voices in the European Parliament calling for a €120 billion budget for Horizon Europe. We are moreover pleased to see the establishment of an Open Science pillar and a Global Challenges pillar – the latter which will directly support research relating to societal challenges and setting EU-wide missions with ambitious goals. Our Position Paper on the nature of missions in Horizon Europe lays out what we believe are major areas that need to be focused on: from preventing an antimicrobial resistance disaster, to ensuring sustainable low carbon energy for all, to forming a fit-for-purpose food landscape. The issues we have listed in our Position Paper are set to define some of the major societal and environmental challenges ahead – and consequently, need to be addressed immediately and with determination. As such, EuCheMS will continue to work with the European Parliament and other parties to ensure that there is no watering down of the budget proposal and that the strategic areas we have pointed out are recognised as needing special focus and additional funding.
Research and innovation are vital in providing solutions on a range of issues – from health to the environment, energy, food safety, agriculture, industry, and more. As the voice of chemistry in Europe, and representing over 160,000 chemists through our Members, we urge all parties throughout the negotiations to recognise the fundamental importance that a strong and ambitious funding programme for scientific research and innovation will play in overcoming the many challenges that Europe is facing and will face in the coming years.