Paul van Gerven
31 August 2020

The Dutch government isn’t going to try to increase the European research budget that was agreed upon in July, Education secretary Ingrid van Engelshoven writes to parliament (link in Dutch). A “financially sustainable” EU budget and “preventing larger Dutch membership fees” are bigger priorities, according to Van Engelshoven.


Prior to the budget summit, the European Commission had proposed allocating 94.4 billion euros to Horizon Europe, the successor to Horizon 2020. The European Parliament (EP) advocated an even higher budget of 120 billion euros. To the dismay of universities, EU leaders ended up at 76 billion euros, plus 5 billion euros from the corona recovery fund. EP still needs to sign off on that deal.

Van Engelshoven considers the Horizon Europe budget, as it stands, “adequate.” She points out that Horizon 2020’s budget was 66 billion euros excluding the contribution from the United Kingdom, which has left the EU. In real terms, therefore, the Horizon budget will increase by 22 percent, Van Engelshoven argues.