The debate around the budget for the new EU Framework Programme is part of the discussion on the general budget of the European Union that will have to work without the contributions of Great Britain in the future. At the same time, the EU jointly has to address new challenges. In this context, the European Commission has suggested a budget of 91,4 Mrd. EUR for Horizon Europe, whereas a High Level Expert Group led by Pascal Lamy has asked for 160 Mrd. EUR in their report on the future of the Framework Programme. The European Parliament currently calls for a budget of 120 Mrd. EUR. Further negotiations at EU-level will show with which amount the European research funding actually has to get along from 2021 on.
With Horizon Europe, the Commission intends to continue the focus of Horizon 2020: Excellence, Application Orientation, Open Science. The Three-Pillar-Structure of the programme will be maintained, although with some new aspects.
Many actors in Brussels would like to see the general budget negotiations concluded in spring 2019, as the European Parliament and the current European Commission will end their terms next year. This would be a novelty in Brussels affairs, as these extensive negotiations usually take two years to be finalised.
In November 2018, the responsible committee of the European Parliament approved the two reports on the Commission proposal. The plenary vote is scheduled for mid-December 2018. These two reports relating to the Framework Programme and its Rules for Participation, as well as the Specific Programme defining the content, take into account approximately 4,000 amendments stemming from scientific and policy stakeholders. At the end of November, the European research ministers already agreed on a "Partial General Approach" to the Framework Programme. This represents an important political step in the negotiations theoretically enabling a faster decision on the new Programme. The final decision on Horizon Europe is, however, also depending on the outcome of the negotiations on the EU's general budget, which in the end will define the funding available for the Framework Programme.
With regard to the final structure and contents of Horizon Europe, further negotiations are is still needed on the future of public-public and public-private partnerships under Horizon Europe, the concrete design of the planned research missions, the improved participation of scientists from the so-called EU-13 countries and the details of the new European Innovation Council. Following the decision on the "Partial General Approach" to the Framework Programme, the work on the content-defining Specific Programme will now begin.
At the moment it is not yet clear how long the decision making process will finally take. The date for the start of Horizon Europe remains nevertheless the same: 1st of January 2021.
Many science organisations and also the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) have published their answers to the Commission Proposal, in which they give their opinion on concrete aspects of EU research funding from 2021 onwards.
The debate around the Work Programmes of Horizon Europe and thus the research topics to be called for from 2021 onwards will start in 2019. We will keep FU scientists regularly informed about these processes through our internal systems.
With its Brussels Liaison Office, FU Berlin actively participates in the debate around the EU Framework Programmes by writing position papers and participating in public consultations - either under the roof of the Federal State of Berlin or together with European partners. You will find an overview of these papers via this link.
The EU Liaison Office Brussels is at your disposal for any questions concerning the preparation of the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.