A political agreement on the EU’s next research and development programme, Horizon Europe, has been reached between negotiators for the European Parliament and national governments following several weeks negotiations and of deadlock over a range of issues.
The preliminary agreement was welcomed by Commissioner Carlos Moedas as putting the EU “on track to launch the most ambitious ever European research and innovation programme” reports Research Europe.
The agreement will still need to be approved by the European Parliament as a whole, with the vote due on 17 April. However, any debate over the budget has not yet taken place as this is inherently tied to wider negotiations of the overall EU budget for the years 2021 – 2027, which is unlikely to happen before the end of 2019 at the earliest.
The agreement also revealed policymakers’ vision for ‘Missions’ in the next programme. The five mission areas (under which specific missions could fall) include:
- Adapting to climate change, including societal transformation
- Healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters
- Climate-neutral smart cities
- Soil health and food.
Several partnerships will also be developed. See the full list here.
In August 2018, EuChemS published a position paper together with amendments on the European Parliament’s proposal for Horizon Europe. In the document, we stressed the need to keep striving for excellence, the need to allow countries that have previously participated in EU research programmes to continue being able to do so in the future, as well as the need for more ambitious budgets for the programme as a whole, as well as for the European Research Council (ERC) and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA).