Horizon Europe and international collaboration
By Ingemar Pongratz
The European Union budget for the 2021-2027 period is still being discussed. The discussions have however stalled. This delay is due to disagreement on how big the contribution from net paying countries should be. Net paying countries like Sweden, The Netherlands and Austria want to keep their contribution at a maximum of 1% of the GDP.
This delay is causing delays in other areas including the successor of Horizon 2020 research and innovation scheme.
The future scheme, called Horizon Europe, will start in 2021 with an expected budget above 90 billion EU. Horizon Europe is also open to non-EU countries and represents an interesting vessel for research collaboration.
However, the budget delay has affected the planning process of Horizon Europe and international collaboration through the scheme.
Moreover, the discussion between the European Commission and their international research funding partners have stalled, for several reason. The EU-US research collaboration discussion have stalled. The reasons for this delay is coupled to structural problems. The US does not want to commit in EU project where the European Commission has legal jurisdiction. In addition, there is disagreement on how Intellectual Property Rights should be divided. The main US argument is not necessarily monetary, rather the US is concerned about the lack of legal flexibility in Horizon Europe. Basically, the argument is: If we pay into Horizon Europe, we want to influence the content. We will see how this discussion unfolds.
Other associated countries have expressed similar concerns. Norway, Israel and Switzerland are also concern that they will not be able to influence the content of the future Horizon Europe programme. The negotiations conditions for non-EEA members (Israel and Switzerland) include provisions that these countries may not benefit financially from their participation in Horizon Europe. This is causing considerable concern. In addition, Norwegian representatives are concerned about the future role of the UK in Horizon Europe. There are a lot of ties between Norway and the UK, and the future of the UK in Horizon Europe is still unclear. UK representatives are pushing for full association with Horizon Europe, but these wishes are part of a much larger discussion between the EU and the UK. There is a concern that the negotiations will take a lot of time risking the UK participation in Horizon Europe.
We will see what happens in the coming months
Ingemar Pongratz is cofounder of Fenix Scientific AB / Pongratz Consulting and of Letavis AB. Through Pongratz Consulting, we help universities and organizations to apply from public funding organizations. Please use the Online Contact form or send an email if you wish to discuss your plans and needs.
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