Horizon Europe State of Play
The European Commission presented its proposal on Horizon Europe, the 9th EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, on 7 June 2018. The Bulgarian Presidency launched the negotiations on Horizon Europe in Council still in June 2018. The Austrian Presidency took over at the beginning of July 2018, with the ambition to advance the negotiations as far as possible by December 2018.
The Framework Programme package consists of several legislative documents. The most important of these documents is the Horizon Europe Regulation, setting out the structure, objectives and main features of the Framework Programme for the years 2021 to 2027. Unlike its predecessors, the Horizon Europe Regulation includes the rules for participation and dissemination. In addition, all the details regarding the content and the implementation of the programme are laid down within a Specific Programme. Further documents in the field of research fall under the remit of the EURATOM Treaty.
The main objective of the Austrian Presidency was to advance the negotiations on the Horizon Europe Package as far as possible, taking into account the views of all Member States.
Horizon Europe was and still is being negotiated in Brussels, while at the same time a dozen expert conferences dealing with the new Framework Programme took place as Presidency events in Austria.
On 30 November 2018 the Council adopted a Partial General Approach (PGA = an agreement on the substance excluding the budget) on the Horizon Europe Regulation including the Rules for Participation and Dissemination. The PGA was adopted with a very broad majority (one vote against, 27 in favour).
Furthermore, the Austrian Presidency on 30 November 2018 tabled a Progress Report on the Specific Programme for Horizon Europe, which shows that substantial progress has also been made on this file in the negotiations in Council. The Austrian Presidency continued to work on the Specific Programme together with the Member States until the end of its term, in order to pave the way for a PGA also on this file during the Romanian Presidency.
The European Parliament has also made significant progress with the negotiations on the Horizon Europe Package. The Parliament concluded the first reading on both the Framework Programme Regulation and the Decision on the Specific Programme in its plenary week of 10 December 2018 with the vote in Plenary.
Negotiations between Council and Parliament commence in early 2019.