INESC position in defence of the European budget for R&I

2021HighlightNews

July 23, 2021
INESC has issued a position statement regarding the announced cuts to the EU R&I budget by the European Council.

"The recent decision of the European Council to withdraw €1.4 billion from the budget initially foreseen for research and innovation in 2022, of which 316 million in the context of Horizon Europe, goes against the declared intentions to achieve the goals concerning the environment, digitization and the economic and social recovery and resilience, with a particular impact on countries with less public budget allocation to science. It also appears at odds with the aim of consolidating the European Research Area.

To achieve the above-mentioned goals, Member States should look for ways to mobilize more resources immediately for research and innovation (instead of postponing its implementation to 2027), which has been the source of pragmatic solutions to European and global societal problems, the response to the pandemic raging around the world being only one of the most visible examples.

In this context, the budget reduction of €316 million in Horizon Europe is particularly worrying, especially if this reduction affects the budget already planned for the implementation of the objectives and expected impacts in the different clusters and public-private partnerships financed in Pillar 2 of the framework programme. We know that, on average, only 12% of the projects submitted to this pillar are financed, with 88% of the submitted projects remaining unfunded, among which hundreds of projects of very high quality and impact.

The credibility of the European budget and programmes has been based, to a large extent, on their predictability. A budget cut, particularly in programs with defined objectives and strategic research and innovation agendas, will severely delay implementation with unforseeable consequences. We thus request your support in defending the budget of the largest and most credible research and innovation programme in the world, rejecting any budget cuts and, if impossible, request that this cut be as small as possible and not to affect the budget and the activities planned in the context of Pillar 2 of Horizon Europe."

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