The European Parliament’s ITRE Committee – responsible for industry, research and energy – approved two reports on Horizon Europe today. The Guild welcomes rapporteurs Dan Nica and Christian Ehler’s support for strengthening the European Research Area, defending the role of Advisory Groups providing scientific advice, and continuing to foster the excellence principle in Horizon Europe.
The Guild also fully endorses the reports’ pleas for a more balanced support between fundamental research and innovation and addressing all technology readiness levels across the programme. The Guild is looking forward to engaging with the implementation of these principles in the strategic planning process of Horizon Europe.
At the same time, the two reports contain proposals which could undermine the coherence of Horizon Europe across its three pillars:
- The Guild is against earmarking funding for SMEs in the second and third pillars of Horizon Europe, as this would go against the collaborative and bottom-up nature of the programme. The interests of industry should not take over the objectives of Horizon Europe to foster research collaboration across borders and address global challenges and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- The Guild welcomes the European Parliament’s support for the Widening Participation and Spreading Excellence instruments, and recommends that the adequate budget share for them should be 2.5% of the total budget. At the same time, The Guild is against horizontal measures that would favour EU-13 participants in funding decisions, or in the composition of evaluation panels. Support for EU-13 researchers and innovators should be based on their excellence, not their geographical origin.
- The Guild calls for changes to the research priorities in Pillar 2 to be based on their scientific merit and societal relevance, and they should be further developed accordingly.
The Guild would like to thank the rapporteurs and the ITRE Committee for their commitment to strengthening the integration of the social sciences and humanities in the thematic clusters of Horizon Europe, while also proposing the budget required to address challenges related to democracy, societal transformations and cultural heritage.