Horizon Europe

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Horizon Europe is a 7-year European Union scientific research initiative, successor of the Horizon 2020 programme and the earlier Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development. The European Commission drafted and approved a plan for Horizon Europe to raise EU science spending levels by 50% over the years 2021–2027.


The budget of €95.5 billion for Horizon Europe, which was launched in 2021, is up from the €77 billion budget for its predecessor, Horizon 2020.[1][2][3]

Independent observers had predicted the final approved funding to be much lower after completion of the lengthy negotiations with the European Parliament and EU member states.[4] Former EU commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas, along with many advocacy groups, had pushed for a more expansive EU science budget. In order to build political support for the budget increase, he used American originated ideas of "moonshots" to focus research efforts and boost the public interest.[5]


The proposal called for €100 billion in research and innovation spending for years 2021–2027. Of that sum, €2.4 billion is earmarked for the Euratom nuclear research programme and €3.6 billion is put away for an umbrella investment fund, called InvestEU. After accounting for 2% annual inflation, in 2018 the funding for Horizon Europe amounted to €86.6 billion.[6][7]

Wealthier EU members have expressed opposition to the increase in funding, with Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte saying the draft budget was "unacceptable".[8]

To pay for the €100 billion science spending, the Commission's plan calls for cuts to agriculture and cohesion funding by 5 per cent. Additionally, the plan seeks to tie funding to adherence to the rule of law in member states, including judicial independence.[8]

Compared to the previous framework programme Horizon 2020, some changes in terms of cost reporting have been implemented with the objective to simplify the grant management process.[9]

Cooperation beyond the EU[edit]

Horizon Europe supports European partnerships in which the EU, national authorities and/or the private sector jointly commit to support the development and implementation of a programme of research and innovation activities. Horizon Europe expanded its partnerships beyond the 27 member states of the EU, this includes:

  • In October 2021, Ukraine joined as an associate member.[10] The Agreement entered into force in June 2022 and "associated third country" status was applied retroactively from 1 January 2021.[11]
  • In November 2021, Armenia joined as an associate member. The Agreement entered into force in February 2022 and "associated third country" status was applied retroactively from 1 January 2021.[12]
  • In December 2021, Israel,[13] Georgia,[14] Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia became associate members.
  • In August 2022, the United Kingdom launched formal dispute resolution proceedings over its access to the programme.[15]
  • In December 2022, New Zealand joined as an associate member.[16]
  • Switzerland currently has "non-associated third country" status.[17] For those parts of the programme where Switzerland is eligible to participate, funding for the Swiss partners is provided directly by the Swiss government.[18]
  • In September 2023, the United Kingdom and European Union reached an agreement on the UK rejoining Horizon starting in 2024.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What is Horizon Europe?". ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 6 September 2023.
  2. ^ "What is the budget of Horizon Europe?". EU Funds. 6 May 2021. Retrieved 6 September 2023.
  3. ^ "Horizon Europe, budget" (PDF). Publications Office of the European Union. 4 May 2021. doi:10.2777/202859. ISBN 978-92-76-31601-5. Retrieved 6 September 2023.
  4. ^ Brainard, Jeffrey (May 2018). "EU Budget May Rise by 50%". Science. 360: 583 – via Direct Access.
  5. ^ Kelly, Éanna (24 April 2018). "EU officials pitch 'Horizon Europe' as name for next research programme". Science Business. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  6. ^ Kelly, Eanna (8 May 2018). "€100B? €86.6B? A Brussels puzzle: How big is the new research budget?". Science Business. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  7. ^ The European Commission. "Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions" (PDF).
  8. ^ a b "Blocking an increase in the research budget would put Europe on a 'loser's path' | Science|Business". sciencebusiness.net. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  9. ^ "EU Funds Simply Explained". EU Funds. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  10. ^ "Ukraine joins Horizon Europe and Euratom Research and Training Programme". 12 October 2021.
  11. ^ "Specific support for Ukrainian research and innovation". Retrieved 18 February 2023.
  12. ^ "Armenia". ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 18 February 2023.
  13. ^ Berman, Lazar. "Israel, sans West Bank, officially joins EU's huge flagship R&D program". www.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  14. ^ "ERA Portal Austria – Israel, Georgia and five Western Balkan countries join Horizon Europe". era.gv.at. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  15. ^ "UK launches formal consultations with EU over access to scientific programmes". GOV.UK. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  16. ^ "EU and New Zealand successfully conclude Horizon Europe association negotiations". 26 December 2022.
  17. ^ "Horizon Europe and Euratom". www.sbfi.admin.ch. Retrieved 18 February 2023.
  18. ^ "Status of Switzerland in Horizon Europe". www.euresearch.ch. Retrieved 18 February 2023.
  19. ^ "Press corner". European Commission - European Commission. Retrieved 8 September 2023.

External links[edit]