Plans to significantly boost European research activities did not survive the European Union long-term budget and post-corona recovery fund negotiations. In the deal struck last Monday, EU leaders agreed on a core budget of 75.9 billion euros for the Horizon Europe research program, boosted by a one-off 5 billion euros from the pandemic recovery fund. The total of 80.9 billion euros is significantly lower than the 94.4 billion figure that the European Commission proposed in May.
According to the European Research Council (ERC), the agreed-upon Horizon Europe budget “would mean that, in real terms, there would be no increase to the core research and innovation budget of the EU for the first time ever.” In 2018 prices, the EU allocated 76.3 billion euros to Horizon Europe’s predecessor, Horizon 2020. However, this figure includes the contribution from United Kingdom, which has left the EU and might not participate in Horizon Europe.