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Horizon Europe Political Agreement: What It Means for European Scientific Research

The European Union (EU) is committed to supporting science and innovation in Europe. Horizon Europe is the next EU research and innovation program, which will run from 2021 to 2027. The program’s budget is the largest yet, with €95.5 billion allocated for research and innovation. On December 11th, 2020, the EU institutions reached a political agreement on the Horizon Europe program. This article explains what the Horizon Europe political agreement means for European scientific research.

What Is the Horizon Europe Program?

The Horizon Europe program is the successor to the Horizon 2020 program. It aims to support scientific and technological innovation across Europe by promoting research collaboration, open science, and innovation. The program covers many scientific disciplines, from basic research to applied sciences and engineering, including artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, and nanotechnologies.

The program also aims to help Europe become more competitive in the technological sector, by transforming research results into innovative products and services that address societal challenges. Horizon Europe focuses on global challenges such as climate change, energy transition, and health, as well as industrial competitiveness and secure societies.

What Are the Key Features of the Horizon Europe Political Agreement?

The Horizon Europe political agreement embodies the shared priorities and objectives of the EU member states, as well as the European Parliament and the European Commission. Some of the key features of the agreement are:

1. Budget: The political agreement confirms a budget of €95.5 billion for the Horizon Europe program, which is distributed across several pillars and activities.

2. Open Science: Horizon Europe includes measures to promote open science, such as open access to publications and data, and the use of legal, ethical, and societal considerations in research and innovation.

3. International Cooperation: Horizon Europe will promote cooperation with international partners, both in research and innovation, and in addressing global challenges.

4. Missions: Horizon Europe will focus on five missions, which aim to achieve specific, measurable, and timely goals, such as curing cancer, fighting climate change, and protecting oceans and waters.

5. Innovation: Horizon Europe will support innovation in several ways, such as through the European Innovation Council, which aims to support high-risk and breakthrough innovation projects.

What Does the Horizon Europe Political Agreement Mean for European Scientific Research?

The Horizon Europe Political Agreement is good news for European scientific research, as it provides a stable and ambitious framework for research and innovation in Europe. The program’s budget is the largest yet, and it covers a broad range of scientific disciplines and societal challenges. Moreover, the agreement confirms the importance of open science, international cooperation, and innovation for Europe’s competitiveness and future.

The political agreement also signals a shared commitment from the EU member states to work together on scientific research and innovation. This collaboration is essential, as it enables Europe to address global challenges and to achieve breakthroughs that have a real impact on people’s lives.


The Horizon Europe Political Agreement is a significant step forward for European scientific research and innovation. The agreement confirms a budget of €95.5 billion for the Horizon Europe program, and it outlines important priorities and objectives, such as open science, international cooperation, missions, and innovation. The Horizon Europe program will help Europe become more competitive in the technological sector, and it will address global challenges such as climate change, health, and security. Overall, the Horizon Europe program is a crucial investment in Europe’s scientific research and innovation ecosystem, and it will benefit European citizens and society in the long term.