The European Parliament officialy approved budget for the upcoming EU research and development framework programme Horizon Europe. Not only it approved the €94.1 billion proposition made by the European Commission, it even called for an increase to €120 billion. Even though some member states led by the Netherlands have already expressed their disagreement with such tremendous budgetary increase, this vote has been an important milestone in moving towards the next reserach framework programme.
The legislation adopted by Parliament does not cover the precise terms for grant applications under Horizon Europe; that will come later from the Commission. The current rules have been criticised for being too bureaucratic, and there is a concern that the next set could be even worse. Another concern is the budget for agriculture research. There is a proportionate cut in terms of agriculture, food and natural resources from the Commission’s 10.6 per cent (of the Horizon Europe budget) to 9 per cent, at a time when there are huge challenges for the agricultural sector in meeting the needs of food security and emissions reduction in line with the Paris agreement. This topic is likely to be a subject of further discussion.