Parliament proposal on future EU research budget

Parliament proposal on future EU research budget

By Ingemar Pongratz


The Brexit frenzy has calmed down now that the UK and European Union have agreed to delay the UK’s planned exit from the European Union. The European Parliament elections are also closing but there are still important developments that will affect the European Research funding. Among other things the budget form the future Horizon Europe programme has been discussed. Horizon Europe is the follow up programme for Horizon 2020. The Horizon 2020 programme end in 2020 and the discussion regarding the future Horizon Europe are ongoing. The discussions include structure of the programme, new funding instruments and of course the budget.

The figures provided by the European Commission and by the European Parliament both suggest that the current Horizon 2020 budget will be further expand in the Horizon Europe programme, from close to 70 billion EUR in Horizon 2020 to 100 billion EUR.

The 100 billion EUR figure represents a considerable reduction compared to the original Parliament suggestion. The original figure was closer to 120 billion EUR and may be further revised / reduced by the European Council, where the member states will discuss the budget and other issues as well.


This Parliament decision allows for the process to continue, to ensure that the programme is launched starting 2021. The focus and structure is still being discussed. The Parliament has for example declared that at least 30% of the funding should be used to combat climate change. Other priority areas will include security, health care, digitalisation, etc. In addition, the European Parliament has reiterated its commitment to support SME and the European industrial sector. This will be achieved through collaboration with universities and research institutes and through the European Innovation Council (EIC).

The Horizon Europe budget will be larger compared to its predecessor Horizon 2020.  The actual figure is still unclear. The coming European Parliament election show that in certain countries there is considerable opposition to increase the EU budget. In fact, while the pro EU sentiment in Sweden remains high, the willingness to increase EU spending is lower. Clearly the EU Parliament elections will provide much clarity.

Ingemar Pongratz is founder of Fenix Scientific AB / Pongratz Consulting. We help private and public organization to apply for public funding including European sources. If you need support to prepare a proposal don’t hesitate to contact us at:

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Stockholm view by Ingemar Pongratz