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On 12 december, the European Parliament voted to increase the Horizon Europe research programme budget for 2021-27 and to focus on SMEs, women and lower-performing EU countries.
Editorial office / Brussels

The resolution asks an increase of the programme budget of €36.5 billion to €120 billion in 2018 prices (€135.25 billion in current prices) compared to the European Commission’s proposal.

MEPs wants to increase support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by reintroducing the possibility of grants for incremental innovation, with a ring-fenced budget of €2.5 billion. The resolution introduces innovative measures, such as widening fellowships to strengthen European Research Areas, and reduce the scientific and technological divide.


The rapporteur for the Implementing Horizon Europe proposal Christian Ehler (DE) said: ‘A budget increase to €120bn is the minimum for Horizon Europe to assure that European industry remains competitive compared to the United States and China.’

The rapporteur for the Horizon Europe – Framework Programme proposal Dan Nica (RO) said: ‘Horizon Europe needs not only to be more ambitious but also simpler, clearer and more accessible to reduce administrative burden and promote fair and objective participation of all research and innovation teams across the EU.’

The European Parliament is now ready to start negotiations with EU member states. MEPs want a swift agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), in order to avoid the serious setbacks of a late adoption of the new programmes, as experienced in the past.