On 6 October 2020, the German Presidency of Council of the European Union, the European Commission, and the ITRE Committee started together another round of negotiations for Horizon Europe’s budget. The 2021-2027 multiannual budget is being paired with a temporary scheme running from 2021 – 2024, which is aimed at supporting the European Union’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
The Members of European Parliament (MEPs) demanded additional funding: at stake is the multiannual budget for Horizon Europe, but also for the Erasmus+ programme. Following the cuts announced in July 2020 (the European Commission reduced Horizon Europe’s budget to €80.9 billion), MEPs rejected all deal proposals that did not include a budget increase.
“Without a credible proposal from the Council on increasing the ceilings it’s impossible to move on”
– MEP Margarida Marques
co-rapporteur on the multiannual budget
However, EU member states representatives are reluctant to increase the budget for the next seven-year framework programme. Currently, research ministers agreed to allocate €85.5 billion for Horizon Europe. In order not to delay the start of Horizon Europe, a budget deal needs to be found by the end of 2020.
Nonetheless, EU research ministers reached agreement regarding other remaining outstanding issues concerning Horizon Europe. On 29 September, during the meeting of the Competitiveness Council (Research and Innovation) of the Council of the European Union in Brussels, EU research ministers focused on the following issues:
- synergies with other EU programmes
- funding from the new recovery instrument Next Generation EU
- the allocation of the Horizon Europe budget among the individual programme areas
- international cooperation and the association of third countries
The outstanding issues stated above had not been negotiated so far.
More information is available on the Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union website.