Horizon 2020: a major step for Europe's competitiveness
On 31 May the Council reached an agreement on the main elements of "Horizon 2020" – the draft EU framework programme for research, development and innovation for the period 2014-2020.
A large majority of member states supported the compromise proposal on Horizon 2020 drafted by the Danish Presidency. This agreement allows the Council to start negotiations with the European Parliament on the final adoption of the text.
The programme's budget will be decided in the context of the EU's next multiannual financial framework (for 2014-2020).
"With this agreement the member states have shown that in a time of very hard crisis and austerity we are willing to take the necessary steps to invest in Europe's future, prosperity and growth, and new jobs and employment. This is a major step for Europe's competitiveness, therefore we are very happy that we have reached this result", said Morten Østergaard, the Danish Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education.
During the debate, delegations discussed essential elements of the general framework for Horizon 2020, including:
- the simplification of procedures that will apply to fund projects,
- the possibility of widening participation by reinforcing the attractiveness of researchers' careers across the Union,
- compliance with ethical principles and relevant legislation;
- increased participation of SMEs in research projects covering the whole chain from the idea to the market;
- the public/private partnerships;
- coherence with other EU and national policy and financial instruments.
The regulation will be adopted after its text is agreed with the European Parliament. The framework programme itself and three other elements of the research and innovation package – the specific programme implementing Horizon 2020, the rules of participation and dissemination, and the Euratom programme on nuclear research activities – should start running from January 2014.
Press release (pdf)
Press conference (video)
Council's debate (video)