CESAER has released a statement welcoming the European Commission’s proposal for the 9th EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon Europe), while expressing some concerns and making corresponding recommendations with a view to unlocking its full potential.
Our major concern is the unbalanced allocation of the proposed budget, in which the more open and forward-looking pillars 1 (Open Science) and 3 (Open Innovation) together are proposed to receive less than pillar 2 (Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness). We call upon the EU institutions to raise the overall budget to at least €120 billion and to allocate significantly more funding to pillar 1.
By maintaining a top-down approach and a lack of clarity regarding the alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) in pillar 2, Europe falls short of positioning itself as a knowledge-based leader. Effective knowledge transfer and the development of innovative solutions require bottom-up and open calls across all pillars.
We welcome the increased focus on synergies with other European instruments and call upon the member states and associated countries to allocate sufficient national funds complying with the Lisbon target. Research and innovation should be prioritised in the operational programmes of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and simplified rules for participation and dissemination adhered to. Importantly, projects approved under Horizon Europe’s rules must be exempted from State Aid Rules.
We call on all EU institutions for a swift agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and Horizon Europe before the Parliamentary elections in May 2019.
For more information and enquiries, please contact our Senior Advisor for Research and Innovation.