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Controversial Horizon Europe proposals toned down

Some of the most controversial of the European Parliament’s proposals for the EU’s 2021-27 R&D programme Horizon Europe appear to have been softened in internal negotiations.

MEP Dan Nica, one of the Parliament’s leads on Horizon Europe, proposed various amendments to the European Commission’s plan for the programme that have provoked consternation among research organisations. Research Europe has now seen a document that apparently sets out where Nica intends to give ground or hold firm in negotiations with fellow MEPs.

One of the Romanian MEP’s most controversial proposals was that Horizon Europe should have an aim of reducing the “RDI divide within the union” by 50 per cent. This was widely criticised as a dilution of the programme’s focus on research excellence. Nica now appears to have backed away from that aim, although the document Research Europe has seen suggests he wants the programme to aim to “significantly reduce” the divide instead.

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