The Council agreed its position (partial general approach) on the regulation on Horizon Europe. Horizon Europe is the next framework programme on research and innovation for the years 2021 to 2027.
Today's agreement does not cover the budgetary aspects of the draft regulation, given that the final amounts will depend on the agreement reached on the next Multiannual Financial Framework. A number of other issues of a horizontal nature have also been set aside pending progress in related files (e.g. InvestEU, Structural Funds). Today's agreement on the Council's position is an important step towards the adoption of the regulation together with the European Parliament.
The programme merges two regulations s (Framework Programme and rules for participation and dissemination) into a single legal act and includes a number of improvements by way of simplification and increased openness.
The regulation lays down the objectives of the programme, and will include the budget for the period 2021–2027, the ways in which the programme is funded and the rules on how the funding is provided. It is the Union's flagship programme to support R&I from concept to market uptake, and complements national and regional funding.
The programme will be based on three complementary and interconnected pillars. The first pillar (Excellent science) supports excellent basic science. It strengthens the Union’s scientific leadership and will develop high-quality knowledge and skills. The second pillar (Global challenges and European industrial competitiveness) supports research which addresses societal challenges and industrial technologies in areas such as health, security, digital and key enabling technologies, climate, energy, mobility, food and natural resources. Alongside these areas, a limited number of research missions and partnerships will be introduced. Any given mission (e.g. zero carbon emission cities) will contain a portfolio of research activities. The third pillar (Innovative Europe) focuses on scaling up breakthrough and disruptive innovation by establishing a European Innovation Council. The latter will offer a one-stop-shop for high-potential innovators. In addition to the three pillars, a horizontal section will improve the programme's delivery for widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area and includes measures to support member states in making the most of their national research and innovation potential.