The Parliament voted this week. The money would be on top of the budget (12.2 billion euros) that the European Commission proposed earlier. It is good news for the scientific community, but the additional funds won’t be made available that easily.
In fact, the Council of the European Union (the leaders of the member states) had wanted to cut a similar amount from the proposed EU budget. The Parliament and the Council have an equal say on the budget.
TU/e Executive Board President Robert-Jan Smits pleaded against cuts to Horizon Europe last year. In his previous position at the EU, he was responsible for the predecessor of the grant program: Horizon 2020.
So now they have to reach a joint agreement. Representatives of the Parliament and the Council will negotiate over the next three weeks. They will then come out with a joint text. If everything goes well, the text will be confirmed by both the Parliament and the Council.
The Association of Universities in the Netherlands, VSNU, calls it “a good thing” and calls on the Parliament to “stand firm on this position”.
If the negotiations fail or if the Parliament rejects the outcome, the European Commission (the ‘government’ of Europe) will have to come up with a new proposal. But if the government leaders on the Council reject the joint text, the Parliament has the final say: it can still give its approval.