News archive - From H2020 to Horizon Europe: EC presents proposal for 2021-27 EU budget

The European Commission (EC) has presented its proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework, the EU budget for the period of 2021 to 2027.With regard to research, the EC is proposing a budget of € 97.9 billion yet funding for the field of R&D will also come from other areas.

Through the Commission President Juncker and Budget Commissioner Oettinger, the Commission presented its proposal as "a modern budget for a Union that protects, empowers and defends", calling its approach pragmatic and long-term, focused and realistic. The EC claims the proposal is trying to maintain or reinforce funding for the Union's new and main priorities, which inevitably means some cuts in other areas.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Today is an important moment for our Union. The new budget is an opportunity to shape our future as a new, ambitious Union of 27 bound together by solidarity. With today's proposal we have put forward a pragmatic plan for how to do more with less. The economic wind in our sails gives us some breathing space but does not shelter us from having to make savings in some areas. We will ensure sound financial management through the first ever rule of law mechanism. This is what it means to act responsibly with our taxpayers' money. The ball is now in the court of Parliament and Council. I strongly believe we should aim to have agreement before the European Parliament elections next year.”

Commissioner Günther H. Oettinger in charge of Budget and Human Resources said: “This budget proposal is truly about EU added value. We invest even more in areas where one single Member State cannot act alone or where it is more efficient to act together - be it research, migration, border control or defence. And we continue to finance traditional - but modernised - policies, such as Common Agricultural Policy and Cohesion Policy, because we all benefit from the high standard of our agricultural products and regions catching up economically.”

Overall, the Commission proposes a long-term budget of €1.135 billion in commitments (expressed in 2018 prices) over the period from 2021 to 2027, equivalent to 1.11% of the EU27's gross national income (GNI). This level of commitments translates into €1.105 billion (or 1.08% of GNI) in payments (in 2018 prices). This includes the integration into the EU budget of the European Development Fund. Taking into account inflation, this is comparable to the size of the current 2014-2020 budget (including the European Development Fund).

Research and innovation is among the areas where the EC intends to increase current levels of funding, as is funding for young people (the EC is calling for a doubling of Erasmus+ funding), the digital economy, border management, and security and defence. At the same time, the EC is proposing to reduce funding for the Common Agricultural Policy and Cohesion Policy, both by around 5%, saying these policies will be modernised to ensure they can still deliver with less and even serve new priorities.

With regard to research, the EC is proposing a budget of € 97.9 billion for the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation "Horizon Europe". In addition, the EC states that funding for the field of R&D will also come from the following areas: 

  • InvestEU, a EU guarantee that should mobilise public and private financing in the form of loans, guarantees, equity or other market-based instruments, to strategic investments in the support of R&D through a dedicated investment window. With a contribution from the EU budget of €15.2 billion, the EC expects InvestEU to mobilise more than €650 billion of additional investment across Europe.
  • EU Cohesion Policy will contribute to R&D through an increased focus on innovation and Smart Specialisation strategies, and by continuing the "Seal of Excellence". 
  • A new European Defence Fund, with an overal budget of €13 billion, will offer EU funded grants for collaborative projects which address emerging and future defence and security threats and bridge technological gaps.
  • ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, has a € 6 billion budget allocated to it, according to the EC proposal.
  • The Euratom Research and Training Programme funds research and training on the safety of nuclear energy production.
  • A new Digital Europe Programme, with €9.2 billion aims to bring the benefits of the digital transformation to all European citizens and businesses. The programme will boost frontline investments in high-performance computing and data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and advanced digital skills. It will promote large-scale deployment of digital technologies across economic sectors and it will support the digital transformation of public services and businesses.

Building on today's proposals, the Commission will present, in the weeks to come, detailed proposals for the future sector-specific financial programmes, including the next Research Framework Programme. The decision on the future long-term EU budget will then fall to the Council, acting by unanimity, with the consent of the European Parliament. The EC stresses that negotiations on the next MFF "should be given the utmost priority, and agreement should be reached before the European Parliament elections and the summit in Sibiu on 9 May 2019". This means that a major part of the negotiations on the next MFF will take place under the Austrian EU Council Presidency during the second half of 2018.

For more information

EC - press release "A modern budget for an EU that protects, empowers and defends: Questions and Answers"

EC Fact Sheet on Research & Innovation

other Fact Sheets and legal texts:

Key information related to the EU budget for the future - Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027)




Geographical focus
  • Europe
  • European Union (EU 27)
  • H2020
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General

Entry created by Admin on May 3, 2018
Modified on June 18, 2018