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Horizon Europe disagreements ‘already blocking projects’

The lack of agreement among EU institutions on the shape of the bloc’s 2021-27 R&D programme is causing problems for existing projects, a leading MEP has said.

Seven projects that could become EU-backed Future and Emerging Technologies Flagships are being held back by the slow pace of Horizon Europe negotiations between the Parliament and national governments in the Council of the EU, according to German MEP Christian Ehler (pictured).

The problem, he says, is whether these projects should be funded to become FET flagships with budgets of up to €1 billion—like the three already supported by the EU’s current R&D programme Horizon 2020—given that the necessary legal basis may not exist under the successor programme. An alternative approach would be for the EU to wait before funding them under the legal options available through Horizon Europe, which have yet to be agreed.

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