Council adopts position on €95.5 billion EU research programme for 2021-2027

The Council today adopted its first reading position on Horizon Europe, the EU’s multiannual framework programme for research and innovation for the years 2021 to 2027 ( “the programme”). This follows up on a deal reached last December with the European Parliament that paves the way for the swift adoption of the proposed regulation establishing Horizon Europe at second reading.

Today’s adoption of the Council’s position brings us only one step away from the final adoption of the most ambitious EU research and innovation programme so far. Our researchers are given the necessary tools for their valuable contribution to our resilient economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and the swift transition towards a green and digital economy.

Manuel Heitor, Portuguese Minister for Science and Technology and Higher Education

The regulation lays down the structure and the objectives of the programme, the budget, the forms of EU funding and the rules for providing such funding. It provides that 35 % of the expenditure for actions funded under the programme will have to contribute to climate objectives.

It also regulates international cooperation between the EU and third countries in the field of research and innovation.

Compared to its predecessor, Horizon Europe introduces :

  • a cluster approach to address societal challenges,
  • a streamlined approach regarding European partnerships,
  • a mission-oriented approach,
  • the European Innovation Council (EIC),
  • enhanced openness towards new partners while keeping excellence as the main selection criterion,
  • simplified rules, increased legal certainty and less administrative burdens for beneficiaries and programme administrators.

Next steps

In line with the political agreement reached last December between the co-legislators, the European Parliament is expected to approve the Council’s position at first reading in April 2021. The regulation will then be deemed to have been formally adopted. It will apply retroactively from 1 January 2021.