DIGITALEUROPE welcomes partial agreement on Horizon Europe and Digital Europe programmes
DIGITALEUROPE congratulates the EU co-legislators for striking a deal on Horizon Europe and Digital Europe, two major funding programmes supporting future digital innovation. Reaching a first agreement before the May 2019 European Parliament elections was of utmost importance to ensure that the necessary implementation preparations could start on time.
“With the Horizon Europe and Digital Europe programmes, the EU will get much-needed support to foster new tech solutions on many crucial issues, from cybersecurity to 5G”, explained Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, Director General of DIGITALEUROPE. “However, an ambitious programme is worthless without an adequate budget. The EU’s target is to spend 3% of its GDP on R&D and the budget of the two programmes should reflect this objective, to ensure that sufficient funding will be allocated to the digital future of Europe.”
DIGITALEUROPE recalls that back in March 2018, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker defended a budget between 120 and 160 billion euros for the research programme, much higher than what has been proposed in June for Horizon Europe and Digital Europe (respectively 94.1 and 9.2 billion euros). President Juncker’s figures have been supported by several reports and motions from both Commission and Parliament and we now call on Member States to agree on higher budgets. We will be following closely the MFF negotiations for the EU budget for 2021 to 2027 to ensure that the two programmes will have enough resources to deliver on their promises.
Parallel to the budget negotiations, the Commission will now launch the R&I Strategic Plan to implement both programmes. As explained in a previous paper, our industry looks forward to contributing to this implementation plan. DIGITALEUROPE believes that the Strategic Plan must be the result of a transparent process with stakeholder consultation and dialogue during all its phases. The industry must be involved in the design of public-private partnerships through structured dialogue, consulted on the R&I missions, and represented in boards and other governance bodies or forums created to run them. Only a strong involvement of stakeholders will ensure the successful implementation of the Horizon Europe and Digital Europe programmes.