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Shrunken Horizon Europe should go back to basics

 Image: Kwanchanog Noiinwong, via Shutterstock

Programme looks top-heavy with strategic priorities and light on fundamental research, says Peter Fisch

In June 2018, Carlos Moedas, then the EU’s Commissioner for research, presented the Commission’s proposal for the next Framework Programme, dubbed Horizon Europe and covering the years 2021-27. The suggested budget was €94 billion. Big players in European research policy were quick to request €100bn as the bare minimum, and €120bn as adequate in light of the challenges ahead.

Thirty months later, after painful negotiations between the Commission, member states and the European Parliament, a deal seems within reach. The budget looks set to be €84bn. So what went wrong?

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