After lengthy negotiations, last night the European Parliament negotiation team reached an agreement with the EU Council to establish the next research programme, Horizon Europe (2021-2027). The Parliament pushed for a strong deal and ensured that key policy areas are covered - such as climate mainstreaming the partnerships and mission areas, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) role within the new European Innovation Council (EIC) instrument and the widening part or the programme.
S&D MEP Dan Nica, rapporteur for the Regulation establishing the Framework Program and rules of participation and dissemination and S&D spokesperson on industry, energy and research, said:
“We managed to negotiate and conclude an agreement in only three months on this important legislation in order to support the new programme and allow for timely implementation. Through science, innovation, and groundbreaking research, Europe can become more competitive, address the key challenges that our world is facing and stay at the forefront of knowledge and innovation.
“The results achieved at this stage show a strong commitment to our citizens and research community. I would also like to underline that on the outstanding issues the European Parliament is committed to keep the level of ambition in negotiating a budget of €120 billion and on the participation of non-EU countries.”
Soledad Cabezón, S&D negotiator of the Decision on the Specific Horizon Europe Programme, said:
“The agreement reinforces SMEs. Up to 99.9% of non-financial firms in the EU are SMEs, and they had to be included in this programme aimed at fostering innovation. They are and will remain the main economic engine of the EU. The newly created European Innovation Council will allocate 70% of its budget to SMEs. It also maintains the same amount of the SME instrument already existing in Horizon 2020 to promote incremental innovation.
“The provisional deal will now have to be endorsed by the Council and adopted by the European Parliament. Then the definitive budget for Horizon Europe will have to be confirmed during the overall negotiation of the EU Multiannual Financial Framework. There are some other pending issues, such as the participation of third countries - including the United Kingdom after Brexit - and S&Ds will work to maintain the level of ambition.”