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MEPs vote to support an increased Horizon Europe budget

Wednesday 12 December 2018

The European Parliament has voted in favour of Horizon Europe, the successor to the Horizon 2020 research programme, and called for an increase in the budget to €120 billion – a significant increase in the € 94.1 billion proposed by the European Commission. The vote on 12 December is another step towards the implementation of the Horizon Europe programme, due to start in 2021. However, the final budget of the programme will be subject to negotiations between the Commission, Council and Parliament. The final amount for Horizon Europe will also be subject to the negotiations over the long-term budget for the EU as a whole, the Multiannual Financial Framework, which is not expected to be finalised until around October 2019. Other amendments were put forward in relation to Horizon Europe, including widening the criteria for winning grants under the research programme. Whilst wording put forward from the Commission stipulated that “scientific excellence” would be the defining criteria, MEPs amended the legislation to dedicate more money for “spreading excellence and widening”. Additionally, an amendment which would have guaranteed that UK scientists would still be able to participate in EU-funded research was rejected. As it stands, neither the Commission text nor the one adopted by the European Parliament refers to the UK or Brexit.