On 2 September 2021, the Members of the European Parliament of the Industry, Technology, Research and Energy (ITRE) committee gathered to discuss the 2022 general EU budget. Special focus was given to the budget cut of €316 million for the Horizon Europe programme proposed by the European Council last July.
On 15 July 2021, against all expectations, the European Council decided to reduce the budget for 2022 of the Horizon Europe programme by €316 million. At the same time, the instruments Digital Europe (digital technology programme) and InvestEU (facilitating investment programme) will also see their budget cut by €50 million and €45.5 million respectively. The main argument of the European Council was that there was not enough demand to invest in this domain.
The ITRE committee recently expressed its opinion on the topic and strongly disagreed with the budget cut proposal. To achieve the goals set for decarbonisation by 2030, research and development areas need these funds to establish a solid response.
“As expected, it is as counterproductive as it could be […] while we are still in a pandemic, the Council cuts €45 million on health research under Horizon Europe […] This completely undermines the idea that the recovery fund does additional money to boost recovery. It also is unrealistic if you are serious about the 2030 objective because those require investments now. It will be up to the Parliament to fight for a budget that delivers on recovery, resilience and the twin transition, digital and substantially.”
– Christian EHLER
Member of the ITRE Committee