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European Council proposes Horizon Europe budget cut of EUR 2.1 billion

In an effort to manage the EU's financial commitments more effectively, the heads of state and government convened in the European Council have agreed on 1 February 2024 on significant adjustments to the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027. The adjustments include a notable reduction in the budget for Horizon Europe, the EU's key framework programme for research and innovation.  

The plan involves a larger EUR 64.6 billion adjustment to the EU budget, aimed at supporting Ukraine with EUR 50 billion and addressing other critical needs. A significant portion of this reallocation involves cutting EUR 2.1 billion from Horizon Europe's budget, originally set at EUR 95.5 billion. This move has sparked considerable reactions from stakeholders within the European research community, members of the European Parliament, and EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Iliana Ivanova, who have all warned against the potential negative impact on EU's research and innovation capabilities, particularly at a time when the EU is striving to enhance its strategic autonomy. 

As the EU begins preparations for Horizon Europe's successor, FP10, set to launch in 2028, there is a strong push from the research community and European Parliament members for a significantly increased budget. Proposals suggest a budget of at least EUR 200 billion for FP10, with calls for it to be at least double that of Horizon Europe, emphasizing the critical role of research and innovation in the EU's future competitiveness and resilience. 

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