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Lead MEP sounds alarm over Horizon Europe

Political agreement on the design of the EU’s 2021-27 R&D programme Horizon Europe might not be achieved before European elections in May 2019, one of the European Parliament’s leads on the programme has warned.

Christian Ehler, one of the two MEPs leading on Horizon Europe, said at an event hosted by the innovation membership organisation Science Business on 25 September that the Parliament is trying hard to reach its position faster than usual. “We should be faster, and I think that is the ambition of the Parliament,” he said.

But he warned that national governments in the Council of the EU have been “very reluctant” to speed up their own procedures because of the uncertainties around Brexit and the size of the EU’s overall 2021-27 budget. “We’re practically taken hostage by some of the member states,” Ehler said, adding that it was “hard to tell” whether the Parliament would be able to speed things up.

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