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The current COVID-19 epidemic, whose impact is felt worldwide, has consequently added to the delays in the EU programmes, including Erasmus+, Horizon 2020 and Creative Europe. Many EU members states are now on lockdown: Italy since 9 March 2020, Spain since 14 March 2020, France since 17 March 2020 and Belgium since 18 March 2020.
Due to travel restrictions, a slowdown in non-essential research work has been put in place while the pandemic spreads across the world and member states have been encouraged by the EU to postpone activities while many students are either unable to travel to certain countries or even to return home.
As a result, the submission deadlines have been extended or relaxed, from one week in Horizon 2020 for the deadlines from 17 March to 15 April to a month or more in Erasmus+.
All eyes are turned on solving the COVID-19 crisis: in early January the European Commission (EC) announced a EUR 10 Million funding for research projects on prevention, drugs and vaccines with an additional EUR 37.5 Million added since. The EC also announced EUR80 million allocated to funds supporting the German biothec Curevac working on a vaccine. Innovative Medecines Initiative has also received a EUR 45 Million budget from the European Commission.