EU agreement on future research and innovation programme

Member states’ ambassadors meeting in the Council’s permanent representatives’ committee confirmed on March 27 the common understanding reached between the Romanian presidency of the Council and the European Parliament, as part of an overall compromise on the Horizon Europe package, on the majority of the operative provisions of Horizon Europe, the next EU framework programme on research and innovation for the years 2021 to 2027.
“Innovation is the only way for the EU to maintain a strong, sustainable and competitive economy. The confirmation of the common understanding on Horizon Europe will help ensure the timely launch of the new programme in January 2021. The text will provide our researchers with clarity on the EU’s priorities in the field and our citizens with certainty that we are listening to their concerns,” Nicolae Hurduc, Romanian Minister for research and innovation said.
The Horizon Europe framework programme lays down the objectives and the structure of the programme, the ways in which the programme will be funded and the rules on how the funding will be provided. It is the Union’s flagship programme to support R&I from concept to market uptake, and complements national and regional funding.
The common understanding between the Council and the European Parliament contains a number of improvements compared to the Commission proposal. It stipulates that, under certain conditions, the European Innovation Council may also provide grant-only or equity-only support. On missions, the agreed text not only sets out more detailed conditions but also provides a list of areas for possible missions and partnerships. Member states’ decisive role on defining research and innovation priorities is acknowledged. Finally, the provisions on widening participation are reinforced.
Pending an overall agreement on the next EU multiannual financial framework, the common understanding does not cover any provisions with budgetary implications. It does also not cover provisions on third countries’ participation and on synergies with other EU funding programmes. Most of the recitals will also be part of the future negotiations, which will have to take place with the new Parliament.

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