EU research commissioner Carlos Moedas has promised to review Horizon 2020 salary payments and to provide greater support for failed European Research Council bids, to help newer member states improve their EU research performance.
Speaking in Brussels on 23 November, Moedas said that the European Commission would aim to present a proposal for Horizon 2020 salary payments by December, following widespread disquiet about existing arrangements.
The Horizon 2020 bonus scheme was introduced in 2012 to help institutions in eastern Europe pay more competitive wages, by allowing an €8,000 top-up to the basic rate tied to the country’s average wages. On 10 November, two Romanian MEPs wrote a critique of the initiative, which they said had led to researchers in newer member states turning down grants or moving them to western Europe. “It is the opposite of what was intended,” Moedas acknowledged.