European Commission publishes its Horizon Europe proposal

Dr. Brigitte Mühlenbruch, EPWS Honorary President; Prof. Claudine Hermann, EPWS President

On 7 June 2018 the European Commission has published its proposal for Horizon Europe, an ambitious € 94,1 billion research and innovation programme for the period 2021-2027 that will follow Horizon 2020.

The new European science and research funding programme is designed to connect people with the achievements financed by their tax money, and to fix problems with innovation funding.
The European Platform of Women Scientists EPWS welcomes the continuity between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe as well as the new elements such as the establishment of a European Innovation Council to promote innovation and the introduction of mission-oriented research.


Similar to Horizon 2020, research- as well as innovation-projects will be supported, and composite research as well as the research of single researchers and companies will be funded.

The Commission’s proposal envisages three pillars:

Pillar 1: “Open Science and the European Research Council (ERC)”

Pillar 2: “Global Challenges and Industrial Competiveness and the Missions

Pillar 3: “Open Innovation and the European Innovation Council (EIC)”

In addition to these pillars a sector for strengthening the European Research Area is planned with the scopes “Sharing Excellence” and “Reforming and Enhancing the European R&I System”. In the latter Science with and for society (SwafS) themes are mentioned, as Citizen Science, Gender Equality and Ethics. But there is no independent SwafS-programme area in the new proposal, and Science Communication and Responsible Research and Innovation are not mentioned.

Gender in research content and equal opportunities for men and women are to be found in Article 6 “Implementation and forms of EU funding” top 9:

“The Programme shall ensure the effective promotion of gender equality and the gender dimension in research and innovation content. Particular attention shall be paid to ensuring gender balance, subject to the situation in the field of research and innovation concerned, in evaluation panels and in bodies such as expert groups.”

Cross-cutting issues, like for example gender in research and gender equality, are no longer provided, however they are mentioned in different parts of the Programme Activities.

The European Platform of Women Scientists EPWS will very carefully watch the European legislative procedure of Horizon Europe in the European Council and the European Parliament. EPWS, the voice of women scientists in Europe will accompany the design of Horizon Europe with well-informed and substantial propositions concerning gender equality and the gender dimension in science and research.

(Source: Kontaktstelle Frauen in die EU-Forschung FiF)


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