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Next EU presidency to focus on geographic divides

Romania has said it will use its turn at hosting the presidency of the European Council, from January to June 2019, to try to reduce “disparities in research and innovation performance between member states”.

Romanian researchers have achieved low success rates in the EU’s R&D programme Horizon 2020 so far, winning funding with just 11.9 per cent of applications as of September 2018. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Belgium had a success rate of 17.6 per cent in the same period.

In a September update on Horizon 2020, the Commission said that the EU’s newer 13 member states have won just 4.8 per cent of funding so far, up from 4.2 per cent across the whole of the previous programme Framework 7. But it said that this is proportionate to their share of total EU investments in R&D, which is just 4.4 per cent.

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