Following the plenary vote of the European Parliament on the EU budget for 2022, the European University Association (EUA) called on the Council to reverse the cuts to the Horizon Europe program as the largest transnational program of support for research and innovation, and strongly support its full implementation. with an additional 305 million euros.
In its press release, the EUA stresses that the importance of investing in research has become clearer than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, as vaccine development has been made possible through research funded by public funds, thereby supporting societies and economies around the world to recover from the pandemic faster, reports Erudera.com.
âThe latest Nobel Prize winners, supported by the European Research Council, also remind us of the relevance and effectiveness of public support for research conducted by researchers. However, the difficult negotiations around the EU budget over seven years have shown that it remains difficult to convince the Member States to go beyond the rhetoric and to really invest in an ambitious way in research and innovation. “, The EUA press release reads.
During this summer, the Council of the EU recommended reducing the Commission’s proposal for the 2022 budget allocated to the Horizon Europe program by more than â¬ 300 million, which the EUA said was a âMajor surprise for the sectorâ.
The EUA also said now is the time to align and improve “The firepower of national and European investments in research and innovation”, stressing that opportunities under NextGenerationEU should provide additional support and not work to reduce funding for Horizon Europe.
âTo achieve the ambitious goals that have been set, it is crucial to have foresight. Rather than postponing or saving funds, it is time to recognize that the time has come to invest in R&I in Europe â, adds the press release.
This month, European universities called for the UK’s swift association with Horizon Europe and other EU programs, saying the UK’s long association process creates unnecessary insecurity in the within the European knowledge community. The EUA underlined that the European Union and the United Kingdom both benefit from joint research and innovation.
“There are many deep and lasting partnerships at stake. These are of great value for Europe as a whole – and for the world as a whole”, It said.
The EUA statement on the UK’s early association with the Horizon Europe program has received support from Universities UK International (UUKi).
Horizon Europe is an EU funding program for research and innovation with a budget of â¬ 95.5 billion, which is expected to run until 2027.