On 7 June, the European Commission published its proposal for Horizon Europe. One of the novelties is the announcement that research “missions” and the faith of existing partnerships, such as the public-private partnerships and EIT Knowledge Innovation Communities, would be decided at a later stage as part of a so-called “strategic planning process”.

Amid preparations for the Europe Parliament’s position on Horizon Europe, EPP rapporteur for the Programme Dr Christian Ehler, would like to express his concerns: “The lack of transparency from the Commission in preparing their “strategic planning” process is a serious threat to the fast-track procedure for adoption of the Programme before the end of this legislative mandate.”

“For example, the Parliament is incapable of defining the budget of certain parts of the programme without the clear plan for partnerships and missions. We will not sign a blanc check to the Commission. It’s unacceptable that the Parliament has no say in the process which will define substantial parts of the budget, this is the prerogative of co-legislators.”

“But the most worrying fact is the uncertainty it brings to relevant public-private partnerships, such as Cleansky and Shift2Rail. This is sending the wrong signal to industry, research and technology organisations and universities, who have now for years demonstrated their commitment to these partnerships”.

“If the Commission is planning to terminate any of the public-private partnerships, they will face radical opposition from the Parliament. This will seriously reduce private investment, when we all know that reaching the 3% target of investment in R&D is highly depended on that”. “BREXIT is already bringing enough insecurity to the existing joint undertakings, we will not accept to add further uncertainty and complexity and will amend the Commission’s proposal in this direction”.