EUA has conducted a detailed analysis of the European Commission’s proposal for the Ninth Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon Europe). The Association has compared the proposal to its recommendations and produced detailed input for policy makers involved in the design and negotiating process.
The main points highlighted in the text focus on the importance of investing in research and innovation; minimising discrepancies across the EU and aligning EU policies for education, research and innovation. The analysis is divided into two parts: one that presents European universities’ response to the underlying principles and the structure of Horizon Europe; and one that highlights the Association’s stance on the Rules for Participation.
Regarding funding, the proposed budget of €100 billion is not ambitious enough to meet the EU’s objectives for the programme. EUA therefore urges the European Parliament and the member states to back a full-scale doubling of the current budget to €160 billion. On allocation, EUA welcomes the increase for the European Research Council. However, it notes that the small funding increase (+10%) given to the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions is not enough – especially considering their crucial contribution to structuring the European Research Area.
Open Science is set to gain ground under the Commission’s proposal. EUA welcomes the strong policy stance of making it mandatory and calls for the opt-out rules to be used sparingly.
“European universities support the European Commission’s ambitions in fostering Open Science in Europe,” said Jean-Pierre Finance, Chair of the EUA Science 2.0/Open Science Expert Group. “As we have underlined many times, it will be crucial to embed Open Science in all parts of Horizon Europe, including measures that support a more competitive environment in scientific publishing.”
In reference to the proposed Rules for Participation, EUA calls for more trust in programme beneficiaries and simplification by reducing the incompatibilities between EU funding requirements and institutional financial management systems. Bolder steps in the direction of broader acceptance of institutional accounting practices still need to become a reality.
EUA is looking forward to partnering with policy makers in the co-creation of the final blueprint for Horizon Europe. EUA will continue monitoring negotiations and providing further input and evidence from the sector. EUA has also joined more than a dozen other university associations in issuing a common statement that outlines the most crucial elements that need to be addressed in the negotiating process.