Tomorrow, Thursday, EU heads of state will meet to discuss EU’s long-term budget 2021-2027. This is an important meeting, not least when it comes to higher education and research. What is at stake is the priority given to EU’s new framework program, Horizon Europe.
I have discussed this earlier on my blog – see my post from November 2019.
The road to this summit has been paved with intense and agitated discussions about budgets and priorities. Many stakeholders have acted vigorously on the signals that EU’s research programs may be affected by savings and reduced budgets. Earlier this month, the independent Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE) published a petition translated into different languages, with an invitation to sign and submit to national governments.
The current EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme, Horizon 2020, of which the European Research Council (ERC) is a prominent part, has played a seminal role in securing the competitiveness and strength of Europe’s research. I have seen this from my vantage point as university leader but also from my long term engagement in the ERC as panel head. I am firm in my conviction that a reduction in EU´s research budget will disadvantage long term growth and innovation in Sweden as well as in the EU at large. Now is not the time to falter in our ambitions for EU’s research.