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19 Feb 2019

LERU calls for "meaningful progress" on Horizon Europe

Ahead of today's Competitiveness Council (Research) meeting, and the third trilogue on Horizon Europe on 21 February 2019, LERU, the League of European Research Universities has urged the Council and the European Parliament as co-legislators to make "meaningful progress" in the Horizon Europe negotiations. LERU states that trilogue discussions on Horizon Europe would need to speed up to avoid that agreement on the programme is delayed until the autumn, or even until next year. The association fears that such a delay could result in a funding gap between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, which could lead to a decrease of interest from top researchers and innovators. In addition, such a delay would also lead to a stalling of the preparatory work that the European Commission (EC) needs to undertake, for instance on ‘strategic programming’ or the negotiation of association agreements. 

In this context, LERU also stresses the need for involving research experts from different fields, including Social Sciences and Humanities, in strategic programming, in mission boards and in discussions on partnerships. Another concern of LERU's is the need to address the issue of the legal base of Horizon Europe, to speed up the trilogue negotiations. LERU also calls upon the Competitiveness Council to swiftly come up with a position on the Specific Programme and on the remainder of the Horizon Europe Regulation. In connection with the "Widening Participation" issue, the association emphasises the importance of a clear focus on excellence for the Framework Programme, especially, but not only, for the European Research Council (ERC). Regarding association to the FP, LERU asks the Council, EC and the EP to be pragmatic and to look for solutions that allow both the UK and Switzerland to fully associate to the FP, from the very beginning of Horizon Europe.

To read the full LERU statement, click here.

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