EUA Joins European Parliament in Call to Strengthen Horizon Europe With Additional €305 Million

Following the European Parliament plenary vote on the EU budget for 2022, the European University Association (EUA) has called on the Council to reverse the cuts to Horizon Europe program as the largest transnational program supporting research and innovation, and to strongly support its full implementation with an additional €305 million.

In its press release, EUA points out that the importance of investment in research became clearer than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the development of vaccines was made possible with the publicly-funded research, thus supporting societies and economies across the world to recover faster from the pandemic, reports.

“The latest Nobel Prize winners, supported by the European Research Council, also remind us of the relevance and effectiveness of public support to investigator-driven research. However, the difficult negotiations around the seven-year EU budget showed that it remains difficult to convince member states to go beyond discourse and actually invest ambitiously in research and innovation,” EUA’s media release reads.

During this summer, the Council of the EU recommended reducing the Commission’s proposal for the 2022 budget allocated for the Horizon Europe program by over €300 million, which according to EUA, was a “major surprise for the sector.”

EUA also said that the time has come to align and enhance “the firepower of national and European investments in research and innovation,” pointing out that the opportunities under NextGenerationEU should provide further support and not work to reduce funding for Horizon Europe.

“To achieve the ambitious goals that have been set, it is crucial to have foresight. Rather than postponing or saving funding, it is time to recognise that now is the right time to invest in R&I in Europe,” the release adds.

This month, Europe’s universities have called for the fast association of the United Kingdom to Horizon Europe and other EU programs, claiming that the long process for UK’s association is causing unnecessary insecurity within the European knowledge community. EUA stressed that the European Union and the United Kingdom both benefit from the common research and innovation.

“Many, deep and long-lasting partnerships are at stake. These are of high value to Europe as a whole – and to the world at large,” it said.

EUA’s statement on the fast association of the UK to the Horizon Europe program received the support of Universities UK International (UUKi).

Horizon Europe is an EU funding program for research and innovation with a budget of €95.5 billion, expected to run until 2027.

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