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MEPs say Horizon Europe should be a 2025 budget priority

Image: European Parliament

Position comes despite Parliament agreeing to slash EU research programme’s seven-year allocation

MEPs have said the EU’s research and innovation funding programme, Horizon Europe, should be a budget priority for the bloc in 2025, despite them recently agreeing to slash the remainder of its 2021-27 allocation by €2 billion.

Last month, the heads of the EU member state governments and the European Parliament agreed to reduce the Horizon Europe budget to €93.5bn to help finance other priorities, including support for Ukraine.

This was despite the programme being able to fund only about 30 per cent of the proposals it receives that are evaluated as being top quality.

But in a draft position on the 2025 EU budget adopted on 4 March, the Parliament Committee on Budgets supported increased investment in Horizon Europe in 2025.

The Parliament said the committee wanted to “advocate for increased investment in key programs such as Horizon Europe…to fortify the EU’s technological and industrial base”.

‘Deep regret’

At the time the Parliament agreed to cut €2bn from the remainder of Horizon Europe, some of the MEPs responsible expressed ambivalence about their decision, which was first proposed by the national leaders.

“I…deeply regret the included cuts in the funds for Horizon Europe, our successful common R&D programme. Divesting in this field cannot be the way forward to secure growth and jobs in our part of the world,” said MEP Johan Van Overtveldt, the budget committee chair.

As Research Professional News revealed yesterday, the Horizon Europe cut is not expected to affect the programme’s overall spending in 2024. This means the cut will be made across its final three years, 2025-27.