Partial political agreement reached on Horizon Europe

On 20th of March, the three European institutions – the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council of the European Union reached a partial political agreement on Horizon Europe Programme, the EU’s next research funding programme.

Key elements

  • The budgetary aspects of Horizon Europe will only be discussed after the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) - which is the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027 - is agreed;
  • Synergies with other future EU programmes and policies are still subject to further discussions depending on the progress made in the discussions on other sectoral proposals included in the next MFF programme (e.g. the European Social Fund Plus programme, the Invest EU Programme and the Digital Europe Programme);
  • The Horizon Europe Programme will extend and change the rules governing foreign participation to include all countries with excellent research and innovation capacities and no longer confine to countries geographically close to Europe. Provisions on international association agreements are also subject to further discussion as they will be shaped according to the Brexit negotiations.

Next steps

The three negotiating institutions will only be able to formally approve the Horizon Europe programme when they have agreed on the next MFF budget, which covers funding for the Horizon Europe programme. 


The Horizon Europe budget issues will be discussed only after the European Elections, so an update on the grants allocated will be available at the end of 2019. This is because the final budget of Horizon Europe Programme is pending on the final agreement between the Council and the Parliament on MFF 2021-2027 which will not be agreed on before the Autumn.

The Commission is already working on the implementation of Horizon Europe programme in order to have the first draft work programmes published in time for the programme’s launch on 1 January 2021. That being the case, it should be kept in mind that budget negotiations usually sow discord between the European institutions.


Horizon Europe is the Union’s flagship programme to support research and innovation (R&I) from concept to market uptake. It aims to complement national and regional funding, to strengthen science and technology, to foster industrial competitiveness, and to implement sustainable development goals in the EU. Horizon Europe will introduce new features such as the European Innovation Council, missions to promote research results, and new forms of partnerships.

Date: 09/04/2019 | Tag: | News: 930 of 1581
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