Members of the European Parliament approved the budget of the European Union on 22 November. The budget allocates a total of 13.6 billion EUR for the union’s research & innovation (R&I), the vast majority of which, 12.9 billion will fund the European Union’s flagship research programme, Horizon Europe. This means an increase of 85 Million EUR compared to last year. However, this is undercut by a leaked working document, which, according to Science/Business implies cuts to the programme’s budget from 2025.
Also highly related to future of the Horizon programme is the interim evaluation that started this year. The consultation related to Horizon’s conduct was completed by a large number of stakeholders, including EuChemS. As a next part of the interim evaluation, the European Commission assembled an expert group to advise on the future Framework Programme 10 (FP10) amongst other matters. The group, chaired by the former research minister of Portugal Manuel Heitor, is expected to deliver its report on Horizon towards the end of next year. Heitor’s group is expected to focus on the improvement of research careers.
In addition, the research programme kept expanding in 2023. Earlier this year, New Zealand joined the programme, the United Kingdom became fully associated to Horizon, after the UK’s departure from the EU in 2016, and most recently, Canada concluded negotiations to become a member as well.