In December 2020, the EU Member States finally reached an agreement on the new budget for the Horizon Europe research and innovation framework program. The budget of the Horizon Europe research and innovation program will be over 95 billion euros. This represents an increase of almost 20% compared to the budget of its predecessor Horizon 2020.

After several weeks of negotiations in the Council, notably blocked by the veto of Poland and Hungary linked to the issue of the rule of law conditionality for access to European Union funds, the Member States reached an agreement allowing the approval of the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027.

The Prime Ministers of Hungary and Poland, Viktor Orban and Mateusz Morawiecki, developed their common position through a joint declaration, supported by European leaders, reaffirming the main principles concerning the future regulation allowing the suspension of European funds to a country that does not respect the rule of law.

At the level of the overall budget of the multiannual financial framework, there is no key change from the text initially negotiated between the European Parliament and the Member States. Thus, the amount of the European budget would amount to 1,800 billion euros between 2021 and 2027, including the Next Generation EU recovery instrument.

Specifically concerning the Horizon Europe program, the European Parliament and the Council agreed on a final budget of 95.5 billion euros, including 4 billion, leading to a compromise with the Member States in early November 2020, and 5 billion from the European Recovery Fund (Next Generation EU).

In addition, looking at the distribution of partial budgets within the total budget of Horizon Europe, other changes can be seen.

First, an additional 1.1 billion euros has been allocated to the European Research Council, bringing the total budget of the ERC to just over 16 billion euros.

Also, additional funding has been given to the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), bringing its total budget to more than €3 billion. Finally, there is an increase of 314 million euros in the budget for the Marie actions Skłodowska-Curie.

According to the European Commission, Horizon Europe’s first calls for projects will arrive in spring 2021. The actors involved in the different thematic areas put forward will therefore be rapidly invited to mobilize their capacity for innovation in order to benefit from this vast budget, while responding to the challenges put forward by Ursula Von der Leyen when she took up her position.