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Parliamentary questions
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23 May 2019
Answer given by Mr Moedas on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001402/2019

The Commission is aware of this imbalance and is implementing measures that can help to address it.

Horizon 2020(1) provides support for Member States with lower performance in research and innovation (R&I) through the activity ‘Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation’(2), to help them strengthen performance and increase participation in EU R&I funding programmes.

Its main actions, with a budget of over EUR 900 million, are: ‘Teaming’, supporting the development of centres of excellence; ‘Twinning’, on institutional networking; ‘European Research Area (ERA) Chairs’, to bring excellence to institutions, and European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)(3) and the Policy Support Facility (PSF)(4). Nevertheless, these measures do not have an immediate impact and results will only be visible in the long-run.

Although EU-13 countries underperform in terms of Horizon 2020 contribution(5), their results vary: evidence presented in the Horizon 2020 interim evaluation(6) shows heterogeneity in the performance of the EU-13 countries in Horizon 2020 and across its programme parts. Researchers in some EU-13 countries are outperforming the EU-15 average.

EU-13 countries also receive substantial Cohesion Policy funding for their R&I sector(7).

The Commission has proposed an ambitious widening package in Horizon Europe with double the budget compared to Horizon 2020. The core Horizon 2020 actions will continue with significant improvements, while the Council has also proposed measures like adding partners to existing consortia, match-making services and pre-proposal checks.

Moreover, a budget of 3.3% is now earmarked for the widening actions to help increase the participation of entities from EU-13 countries in Framework Programmes.

(1)The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)
(5)Receiving 4.7% of the overall budget spent until now
(6)SWD(2017) 221 final of 29.5.2017
(7)In the 2014-2020 period, over EUR 24 billion are invested in the EU-13 countries in strengthening research, technological development and innovation: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/policy/themes/research-innovation/

Last updated: 24 May 2019Legal notice