On the occasion of today’s publication of the European Commission proposal for Horizon Europe, member of the European Parliament Dr. Christian Ehler (EPP), recently appointed rapporteur for Horizon Europe (specific programme) welcomes the programme:

“Europe is at an historic crossroads, the time is now to decide whether we will become a leader or fall behind our global competitors. I believe only a substantial upraise of the R&I budget will keep Europe competitive against US and China.”

“We congratulate the Commission for reaching €100bn in the internal negotiations on the EU budget. However, this does not live up to the ambitious previously put forward by heads of state, such as President Macron and other leaders. There is still a huge mismatch between the budget proposed and expectations which were raised, for example over 15 years ago, to invest 3% of EU GDP in R&D. We have shamelessly failed to reach the most important Europe 2020 goal.

“Leaders have recognised that innovation is a key driver of growth. OECD figures have repeatedly confirmed this. But if we want to talk about significant growth and changing society in a positive way, we need to raise our ambitions. This is why the Parliament will fight for a substantial increase of the budget. The question is now whether it will be €120bn or €160bn proposed in the Lamy report.

“In terms of budget distribution, although agriculture research is an important field, one has to question whether the allocation of €10bn to it, more than 10% of the programme’s budget, is the result of a compromise or a prerogative for achieving the proposed €100bn. On the €3.5bn for InvestEU, although we salute the idea of having financial instruments, this seems to be yet another attempt to take money from the framework programme to an EFSI-type of instrument.”