Author: Rodrigo Sanz, Manager European Funds at Euro-Funding
Climate change and environmental degradation are the existential threats facing Europe and the rest of the world today. To overcome these challenges, Europe needs a new growth strategy to transform the Union into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy. The European Union will therefore respond to these challenges through the Green Deal call, based on sustainable growth that aims to end net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 so that economic growth is decoupled from resource use.
The EU strategy is based on a transition towards fair and inclusive sustainability, putting people first and bringing citizens together in all their diversity. This is done through a model of cross-cutting measures that supports behavioural, social and cultural changes wherever they are most needed so that no one is left behind.
This call is also in charge of addressing the urgent challenge of contributing to Europe's recovery from the crisis generated by the Covid-19, by participating directly in the EU Plan Europe’s moment: Repair and Prepare for the Next Generation, EC COM -2020-
In this context, the topics of the Green Deal work programme have recently been published, organised into 10 thematic areas, 8 reflecting the main lines of the European green pact and two focused on strengthening citizen knowledge.
Area 1: Increasing Climate Ambition: Cross sectoral challenges
The deadline for submitting proposals to this call began on 22 September 2020 and will remain open until 26 January 2021.
Read more here.
The European Commission’s DG for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) has launched a Manifesto for EU COVID-19 Research, which aims to maximise the accessibility of COVID-19 research results that benefit from EU funding.
Today, EWGIC has signed this manifesto and commits to sharing research results related to COVID-19 prevention, testing and treatment.
By signing this manifesto, EWGIC and its members commit to
This initiative is in line with the Coronavirus Global Response, launched by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EC, as well as with the Solidarity Call to Action, established by the World Health Organisation.
Read the full Manifesto here.
More information here.
Author: Marie Latour, Head of Office, Zabala Brussels
This week, the EU research ministers have agreed on the final details of Horizon Europe:
To begin with, they agree on a linear cut across its programmes to reflect the outcome of the July budget summit (from €94.4 billion to €80.9 billion in 2018 prices) this represents a decrease of more than 14% from the European Commission's (EC) original proposal. In current prices, this is equivalent to a budget of €90.9 billion, of which €5.4 billion comes from the Next Generation EU budget, as part of the recovery plan.
However, under pressure from Germany and Austria, the ministers decided to increase the funding for Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions by €200 million over the next seven years, with money coming from the European Innovation Council’s (EIC) budget (which sees its budget cut by 2%). Spain and Ireland were opposed to a further cut of the EIC budget or to guarantee the grant part of EIC.
The ministers gathered last Tuesday, also agreed on the possibility to use EU structural funds to finance industrial research partnerships in the future.
They agreed that Horizon Europe should follow “a very flexible approach” in spending the top-up from the recovery fund. The idea is to prioritise projects with high TRL levels that address the health and economic effects related to the coronavirus pandemic.
With regards to Europe’s technology sovereignty, the rules for non-EU countries to participate in Horizon Europe were adopted, including a new provision intended to protect Europe’s technological sovereignty. The provision will limit the participation of legal entities established in the EU, or in associated countries, if the commission and member states find “justified and exceptional reasons.” This is to balance between openness and the need for protection of strategic European interests. The EC could start negotiations with individual countries in 2021 at the earliest, and will have to consult with the Council before making any decision.
Now Horizon Europe’s budget and adoption is the hands of the European Parliament (EP) which will have the final word. While the EP was advocating for a budget of €120 billion in the initial phases of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) negotiations, the position from most active EP members is to maintain the initial budget proposed by the EC in 2018. Some EP members have proposed that Horizon Europe could be topped up with money raised by new taxes levied by the EU. The debate on EU’s own resources is not over.
Read EWGIC’s position paper on the MFF.