News archive - Commissioner calls on Members of European Parliament to lobby their governments on Horizon 2020 funding

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, R&D Commissioner, tells the European Parliament that it is up to Members of European Parliament (MEP) to ally with the Commission and stop the European Council cutting the proposed €80B research programme.

The European Parliament needs to join forces with the Commission in resisting attempts to prune back the size of the Horizon 2020 research programme, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, R&D Commissioner told MEPs.

The key will be to lobby national governments, Geoghegan-Quinn believes. “In general the individual member states are very supportive of Horizon 2020 and innovation and R&D as being where growth and jobs come from,” Geoghegan-Quinn said, but “when they come to the collective table” the story is different.

The Commissioner said it is understandable in the current economic situation that the net contributors want to bring down their contribution to the overall budget of the EU and are arguing for a net reduction in the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF), which will set spending for the EU’s programmes from 2014 - 2020. But there is an inherent contradiction because these member states also acknowledge that R&D and innovation can boost flagging economies.

Horizon 2020 is looking for a relatively modest 8 per cent share of the total budget and even a small cut of €1 billion from the proposed €80 billion programme will have a big impact. “It would mean 600 SMEs are not taking part in projects,” Geoghegan-Quinn said, adding, “Research and innovation have the potential to release investment and investors need to know there is a stable platform.”

MEPs on the Research, Industry and Energy (ITRE) Committee almost unanimously adopted a series of amendments on the six legislative proposals that make up Horizon 2020. Teresa Riera Madurell, the rapporteur for Horizon 2020 told the question and answer session held in the parliament in Strasbourg that ITRE’s vision for Horizon 2020 “is not very far from that of the Commission.” But she said, “[It] needs proper investment to make it work.”

Many member states are cutting national R&D budgets and as a result will be increasingly dependent on EU funding to maintain their research efforts. This will amplify the effect  if a cut to MFF results in less funding for research at the EU level.

Source: Science Business

Geographical focus
  • Europe
  • European Union (EU 28)
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Danaja Lorencic on January 17, 2013
Modified on January 17, 2013