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Council finalises its position on the Horizon Europe package

The Council yesterday finalised its position on the proposed regulation establishing Horizon Europe, the EU framework programme for research and innovation for the years 2021 to 2027 (Horizon Europe regulation) and on the proposed decision on the specific programme implementing Horizon Europe (specific programme decision).

Anja Karliczek, German federal minister of education and research yesterday said:

“Today’s agreement is an important step forward towards final adoption of Horizon Europe. We now need to make sure with the European Parliament and the Commission that our forward-looking EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation can enter into force in the beginning of the next year. This is our joint task – for the benefit of the European research and innovation community as well as the competitiveness of the EU.”

The main outstanding issue of the Horizon Europe regulation agreed upon yesterday concerns the internal break-down of Horizon Europe's budget, including funds to be made available under the EU recovery instrument entitled the Next Generation EU (NGEU). The Council has also agreed on provisions regulating international cooperation and the association of third countries to Horizon Europe as well as provisions ensuring synergies with other EU funding programmes.

As regards the specific programme decision, the main amendments to the Commission proposal agreed upon yesterday are mostly of a budgetary nature and reflect those introduced in the Horizon Europe regulation.

Next steps

Yesterday's agreement on the two legislative acts paves the way for finalising negotiations with the European Parliament in view of the swift adoption of the package by the end of the year. 


The Horizon Europe regulation, proposed by the Commission in June 2018, establishes the EU framework programme for research and innovation for the years 2021–2027. It lays down the objectives, the budget, the forms of EU funding and the rules for providing such funding in the field of research and innovation.

The decision on the specific programme implementing Horizon Europe, also proposed by the Commission in June 2018 as part of the Horizon Europe package, sets out the operational objectives and types of activities envisaged for implementing Horizon Europe.

On 4 June 2020, the Commission presented amended proposals for both legal acts to allow additional funding from the EU recovery instrument entitled Next Generation EU (NGEU) to flow to Horizon Europe.

On 21 July 2020, the heads of state or  government agreed on the recovery plan for Europe, which combines the multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the years 2021-2027 and the funds to be made available through the NGEU.

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