Index 
Texts adopted
Tuesday, 27 April 2021 - Brussels
Request for waiver of the immunity of Filip De Man
 Request for waiver of the immunity of Zdzisław Krasnodębski
 Request for waiver of the immunity of Ioannis Lagos
 Request for waiver of the immunity of Ioannis Lagos
 EU/Norway Agreement: modification of concessions on all the tariff-rate quotas included in the EU Schedule CLXXV as a consequence of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union ***
 EU/Honduras Voluntary Partnership Agreement ***
 Implementation report on the road safety aspects of the Roadworthiness Package
 Chemical residues in the Baltic Sea based on petitions 1328/2019 and 0406/2020 under Rule 227(2)
 Establishing Horizon Europe – laying down its rules for participation and dissemination ***II
 Specific Programme implementing Horizon Europe – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation *
 European Institute of Innovation and Technology ***I
 Strategic Innovation Agenda of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology ***I
 Union Civil Protection Mechanism ***I
 EU/Honduras Voluntary Partnership Agreement
 Interinstitutional agreement on a mandatory transparency register
 More efficient and cleaner maritime transport
 Objection to an implementing act: Maximum residue levels for certain substances, including lufenuron
 Objection to an implementing act: Maximum residue levels for certain substances, including flonicamid
 Non-objection to a delegated act: Examination of variations to the terms of marketing authorisations for medicinal products for human use and veterinary medicinal products
 Programme for the internal market, competitiveness of enterprises, the area of plants, animals, food and feed and European statistics (Single Market Programme) 2021-2027 ***II
 European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) 2021-2027 ***II
 Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme 2021-2027 ***II
 Justice programme 2021-2027 ***II
 Space programme 2021-2027 and European Union Agency for the Space Programme ***II

Request for waiver of the immunity of Filip De Man
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European Parliament decision of 27 April 2021 on the request for waiver of the immunity of Filip De Man (2020/2271(IMM))
P9_TA(2021)0116A9-0134/2021

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the request for waiver of the immunity of Filip De Man forwarded by letter of 30 October 2020 by the Public Prosecutor at the Brussels Court of Appeal, in connection with criminal proceedings, and announced in plenary on 14 December 2020,

–  having regard to the waiver by Filip De Man of his right to be heard under Rule 9(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Article 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union and Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

–  having regard to Article 59 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Belgium,

–  having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 21 October 2008, 19 March 2010, 6 September 2011, 17 January 2013 and 19 December 2019(1),

–  having regard to Rule 5(2), Rule 6(1) and Rule 9 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A9-0134/2021),

A.  whereas the Public Prosecutor at the Brussels Court of Appeal has submitted a request for waiver of the immunity of Filip De Man, elected as a Member of the European Parliament for the Kingdom of Belgium, in connection with his alleged involvement in a road accident on 1 May 2019 with material damage and the aggravating circumstance of failure to remain at the scene;

B.  whereas Filip De Man stands accused of colliding with a traffic island on 1 May 2019, in Vilvoorde, of failing to stop and of driving on to his home; whereas the police stated that debris from Filip De Man’s vehicle was scattered along the road and that a visible trail ran from the scene of the accident to his home; whereas Filip De Man was finally interviewed by the police criminal investigation department, after numerous requests to attend had been sent, and explained that he had indeed knocked over the concrete post concerned and had been unable to stop because of the crowd of people on the street;

C.  whereas the alleged offence falls under Article 33 of the Belgian Law of 16 March 1968 on the policing of road traffic and is punishable by a term of imprisonment of between 15 days and six months and a fine of between EUR 200 and EUR 2000;

D.  whereas Parliament cannot assume the role of a court, and whereas, in a waiver of immunity procedure, a Member cannot be regarded as a defendant(2);

E.  whereas under the first subparagraph of Article 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, Members of the European Parliament enjoy, in the territory of their own State, the immunities accorded to members of their parliament, and, in the territory of any other Member State, immunity from any measure of detention and from legal proceedings;

F.  whereas the first paragraph of Article 59 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Belgium provides as follows: ‘Save in cases in flagrante delicto, no member of either House may, during a session and in criminal matters, be sent for trial or summoned directly before a court, or be arrested, except with the authorisation of the House of which he is a member.’;

G.  whereas it is for Parliament alone to decide, in a given case, whether or not to waive immunity; whereas Parliament may reasonably take account of the position of the Member in order to decide whether or not to waive his immunity(3);

H.  whereas the alleged offence has no direct or obvious bearing on the performance by Filip De Man of his duties as a Member of the European Parliament, and nor does it constitute an opinion expressed or vote cast in the performance of those duties within the meaning of Article 8 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union;

I.  whereas, in this case, Parliament has found no evidence of fumus persecutionis, i.e. a sufficiently serious and precise suspicion that the proceedings have been brought with the intention of causing the Member political damage;

1.  Decides to waive the immunity of Filip De Man;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of its committee responsible immediately to the competent authority of the Kingdom of Belgium and to Filip De Man.

(1) Judgment of the Court of Justice of 21 October 2008, Marra v De Gregorio and Clemente, C-200/07 and C-201/07, ECLI:EU:C:2008:579; judgment of the General Court of 19 March 2010, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-42/06, ECLI:EU:T:2010:102; judgment of the Court of Justice of 6 September 2011, Patriciello, C-163/10, ECLI:EU:C:2011:543; judgment of the General Court of 17 January 2013, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-346/11 and T-347/11, ECLI:EU:T:2013:23; judgment of the Court of Justice of 19 December 2019, Junqueras Vies, C-502/19, ECLI:EU:C:2019:1115.
(2) Judgment of the General Court of 30 April 2019, Briois v Parliament, T-214/18, ECLI:EU:T:2019:266.
(3) Judgment of the General Court of 15 October 2008, Mote v Parliament, T-345/05, ECLI:EU:T:2008:440, paragraph 28.


Request for waiver of the immunity of Zdzisław Krasnodębski
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European Parliament decision of 27 April 2021 on the request for waiver of the immunity of Zdzisław Krasnodębski (2020/2224(IMM))
P9_TA(2021)0117A9-0132/2021

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the request for waiver of the immunity of Zdzisław Krasnodębski, dated 9 September 2020 and submitted by the President of the District Court for Warsaw-Śródmieście in Warsaw, Criminal Division X, in connection with criminal proceedings brought against him by way of a private indictment, and announced in plenary on 22 October 2020,

–  having heard Zdzisław Krasnodębski in accordance with Rule 9(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Articles 8 and 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, and Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

–  having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 21 October 2008, 19 March 2010, 6 September 2011, 17 January 2013 and 19 December 2019(1),

–  having regard to Article 105(2) and (5) of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland,

–  having regard to Rule 5(2), Rule 6(1) and Rule 9 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A9-0132/2021),

A.  whereas on 23 January 2020 the President of Criminal Division X of the District Court for Warsaw-Śródmieście, Poland, transmitted a request for waiver of the parliamentary immunity of Zdzisław Krasnodębski submitted to it by a private party on the grounds of certain statements made by Zdzisław Krasnodębski during a radio interview on 1 February 2019; whereas on 19 February 2020 Criminal Division X of the District Court for Warsaw-Śródmieście was informed that a question of the competence of the authority was at issue pursuant to Rule 9(1) and (12) of the Rules of Procedure, thereby bearing on the admissibility of the request; whereas on 18 May 2020 the Court requested clarifications with the Office of the Prosecutor-General and whereas on 8 September 2020 the Office of the Prosecutor-General expressed the position that ‘where a private case is brought in which a public prosecutor is not participating, the authority competent to transmit a request from the private prosecutor for a waiver of immunity is the court, in accordance with Rule 9(1) and (12) of the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament’ and that the concept of ‘competent authority’ is to be interpreted in the light of Rule 9(12) of the Rules of Procedure; whereas the request for waiver of parliamentary immunity was communicated by the judicial authorities in accordance with Rule 9(12) of its Rules of Procedure, and whereas under Rule 9(1) of its Rules of Procedure, any request for waiver of parliamentary immunity must be submitted by ‘a competent authority of a Member State’, the two concepts not being identical;

B.  whereas the private prosecution against Zdzisław Krasnodębski was initially lodged with the District Court for Kraków-Krowodrza on 6 May 2019; whereas on 18 October 2019, that court, acting ex officio, having established that the recording of the interview programme in which Zdzisław Krasnodębski took part took place at the radio studio in Warsaw and not in Kraków, ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the case and referred it to the District Court for Warsaw-Śródmieście in Warsaw;

C.  whereas on 1 February 2019, during a morning interview programme on a radio station, Zdzisław Krasnodębski referred to the private prosecutor as an ‘unknown lawyer’ and a ‘gangster’, and claimed that he was ‘throwing accusations around left, right and centre’;

D.  whereas, in making those comments, Zdzisław Krasnodębski is alleged to have publicly slandered the private prosecutor, allegedly causing him to suffer a loss of the trust necessary for him to pursue his business activity and denigrating him in the eyes of the public, an offence which may be privately prosecuted under Article 212(2) of the Polish Criminal Code;

E.  whereas Article 8 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union stipulates that Members of the European Parliament shall not be subject to any form of inquiry, detention or legal proceedings in respect of opinions expressed or votes cast by them in the performance of their duties;

F.  whereas Article 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union states that Members of the European Parliament enjoy, in the territory of their own state, the immunities accorded to members of the parliament of that state;

G.  whereas according to Article 105(2) and (5) of the Polish Constitution, from the day of the announcement of the results of the elections until the day of the expiry of his/her mandate, a Deputy shall not be subjected to criminal accountability without the consent of the Sejm (lower house of parliament) and he/she shall be neither detained nor arrested without the consent of the Sejm, except for cases when he/she has been apprehended in the commission of an offence and in which his/her detention is necessary for securing the proper course of proceedings;

H.  whereas the alleged actions do not relate to opinions expressed or votes cast by Zdzisław Krasnodębski in the performance of his duties within the meaning of Article 8 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union;

I.  whereas, in this case, Parliament found no evidence of fumus persecutionis, i.e. factual elements which suggest that the intention underlying the legal proceedings in question is to undermine the Member’s political activity as a Member of the European Parliament;

J.  whereas Parliament cannot assume the role of a court, and whereas, in a waiver of immunity procedure, a Member cannot be regarded as a defendant(2);

K.  whereas the purpose of parliamentary immunity is to protect Parliament and its Members from legal proceedings in relation to activities carried out in the performance of parliamentary duties and which cannot be separated from those duties;

1.  Decides to waive the immunity of Zdzisław Krasnodębski;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of its committee responsible immediately to the competent authority of Poland and to Zdzisław Krasnodębski.

(1) Judgment of the Court of Justice of 21 October 2008, Marra v De Gregorio and Clemente, C 200/07 and C-201/07, ECLI:EU:C:2008:579; judgment of the General Court of 19 March 2010, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-42/06, ECLI:EU:T:2010:102; judgment of the Court of Justice of 6 September 2011, Patriciello, C 163/10, ECLI:EU:C:2011:543; judgment of the General Court of 17 January 2013, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-346/11 and T-347/11, ECLI:EU:T:2013:23; judgment of the Court of Justice of 19 December 2019, Junqueras Vies, C-502/19, ECLI:EU:C:2019:1115.
(2) Judgment of the General Court of 30 April 2019, Briois v Parliament, T-214/18, ECLI:EU:T:2019:266.


Request for waiver of the immunity of Ioannis Lagos
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European Parliament decision of 27 April 2021 on the request for waiver of the immunity of Ioannis Lagos (2020/2240(IMM))
P9_TA(2021)0118A9-0136/2021

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the request submitted on 23 October 2020 by the Supreme Court Prosecutor of the Hellenic Republic for waiver of the immunity of Ioannis Lagos with a view to the enforcement against him of Decisions 2425, 2473, 2506 and 2644/2020 handed down by the Athens Court of Appeal (First Chamber with three judges adjudicating on criminal matters), announced in plenary on 11 November 2020,

–  having heard Ioannis Lagos pursuant to Rule 9(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Articles 8 and 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union and Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the Members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

–  having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 21 October 2008, 19 March 2010, 6 September 2011, 17 January 2013 and 19 December 2019(1),

–  having regard to Article 62 of the Constitution of the Hellenic Republic,

–  having regard to Rule 5(2), Rule 6(1) and Rule 9 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A9‑0136/2021),

A.  whereas the prosecutor responsible for these proceedings has requested waiver of the immunity of Ioannis Lagos, Member of the European Parliament, with a view to enforcing against him a prison sentence of thirteen (13) years and eight (8) months and a total fine of one thousand three hundred euros (EUR 1 300) for one major crime and two smaller offences;

B.  whereas Article 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union provides that Members of the European Parliament enjoy, in the territory of their own State, the immunities accorded to members of their parliament;

C.  whereas Ioannis Lagos was elected to the European Parliament on 2 July 2019 and the request for waiver of immunity concerns acts and indictments relating to a period before he became a Member of the European Parliament and acquired immunity as such;

D.  whereas, under Article 62 of the Constitution of the Hellenic Republic, no Member may, during his or her term of office, be prosecuted, arrested, imprisoned or subject to other measures involving deprivation of liberty without the authorisation of the Chamber of Deputies;

E.  whereas Ioannis Lagos was found guilty of (a) the crime of membership and leadership of a criminal organisation (Article 187 (1) and (3) of the Criminal Code) committed in Athens between 2008 and today, (b) the offence of possession of a weapon (Law No 2168/1993), following an authorised amendment to the charge which was that of ownership of a weapon, committed in Perama (Attica) on 30 September 2013 and (c) breach of Law No 456/1976 on flare pistols and fireworks, committed in Perama (Attica) on 29 September 2013;

F.  whereas the sentence handed down by the Athens appeal court is directly enforceable, the court having ruled that the appeal against the decision shall not have suspensory effect;

G.  whereas the Committee on Legal Affairs has duly noted the documents presented to it by Ioannis Lagos pursuant to Rule 9(6) of the Rules of Procedure and considered by him to be relevant to the proceedings;

H.  whereas enforcement of the sentence does not concern opinions expressed or votes cast by Ioannis Lagos in the performance of his duties within the meaning of Article 8 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union;

I.  whereas, pursuant to Rule 9(8) of the Rules of Procedure, the Committee on Legal Affairs shall not, under any circumstances, pronounce on the guilt, or otherwise, of the Member, nor shall it pronounce on whether or not the opinions or acts attributed to the Member justify prosecution, even if the committee, in considering the request, acquires detailed knowledge of the facts of the case;

J.  whereas it is not for the European Parliament to query the merits of national legal and judicial systems;

K.  whereas the European Parliament is not empowered to assess or query the jurisdiction of the national judicial authorities in charge of the criminal proceedings under consideration;

L.  whereas Ioannis Lagos is one of a number of individuals in a similar situation of being condemned by the Athens Appeal Court to a prison term of several years for the offences in question, the only difference being that he currently enjoys immunity as a Member of the European Parliament;

M.  whereas, pursuant to Rule 5(2) of its Rules of Procedure, parliamentary immunity is not a Member's personal privilege but a guarantee of the independence of Parliament as a whole, and of its Members;

N.  whereas the purpose of parliamentary immunity is to protect Parliament and its Members from legal proceedings in relation to activities carried out in the performance of parliamentary duties and which cannot be separated from those duties;

O.  whereas the alleged offences have no clear or direct bearing on the performance by Mr Ioannis Lagos of his duties as a Member of the European Parliament;

P.  whereas they occurred prior to his election to the European Parliament; whereas on this basis, it cannot be claimed that the judicial proceedings initiated in 2014 were intended to hinder the future political activity of Ioannis Lagos as a Member of the European Parliament, since his future status as a Member of the European Parliament was at that time still hypothetical;

Q.  whereas, in this case, Parliament found no evidence of fumus persecutionis, i.e. factual elements which suggest that the intention underlying the legal proceedings in question was to undermine the Member’s political activity, including his activity as a Member of the European Parliament;

1.  Decides to waive the immunity of Ioannis Lagos;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of its committee responsible immediately to the Supreme Court Prosecutor of the Hellenic Republic and to Ioannis Lagos.

(1) Judgment of the Court of Justice of 21 October 2008, Marra v De Gregorio and Clemente, C-200/07 and C-201/07, ECLI:EU:C:2008:579; judgment of the General Court of 19 March 2010, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-42/06, ECLI:EU:T:2010:102; judgment of the Court of Justice of 6 September 2011, Patriciello, C-163/10, ECLI:EU:C:2011:543; judgment of the General Court of 17 January 2013, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-346/11 and T-347/11, ECLI:EU:T:2013:23; judgment of the Court of Justice of 19 December 2019, Junqueras Vies, C-502/19, ECLI:EU:C:2019:1115.


Request for waiver of the immunity of Ioannis Lagos
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European Parliament decision of 27 April 2021 on the request for waiver of the immunity of Ioannis Lagos (2020/2219(IMM))
P9_TA(2021)0119A9-0135/2021

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the request for waiver of the immunity of Ioannis Lagos, forwarded on 2 October 2020 by the Prosecutor at the Supreme Court of Greece, in connection with possible criminal charges by the Prosecutor of the Athens Court of First Instance (case file: ABM PB2020/65), and announced in plenary on 19 October 2020,

–  having heard Ioannis Lagos in accordance with Rule 9(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Article 8 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union and Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

–  having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 21 October 2008, 19 March 2010, 6 September 2011, 17 January 2013 and 19 December 2019(1),

–  having regard to Rule 5(2), Rule 6(1) and Rule 9 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A9-0135/2021),

A.  whereas the Prosecutor at the Supreme Court of Greece has submitted a request for waiver of the parliamentary immunity of Ioannis Lagos on the grounds of certain acts committed by Ioannis Lagos during a speech to the European Parliament on 29 January 2020;

B.  whereas Ioannis Lagos has been accused of the alleged desecration of the national symbol of Turkey perpetrated during the plenary debate of 29 January 2020 on the migration situation at the Greek-Turkish border and the EU’s common response to it;

C.  whereas the act of desecration of a national symbol constitutes an offence under (1) Article 1(1) of Law 927/1979, as implemented by Law 4285/2014 and (2) Article 155, together with Articles 1, 12, 14, 26, 27, 51, 53, 57 and 79 of the Criminal Code of Greece;

D.  whereas parliamentary immunity is not a Member’s personal privilege but a guarantee of the independence of Parliament as a whole and of its Members;

E.  whereas, firstly, Parliament cannot be equated with a court, and, secondly, in the context of a procedure for the waiver of immunity, a Member of the European Parliament cannot be regarded as an ‘accused’(2);

F.  whereas Article 8 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union stipulates that ‘Members of the European Parliament shall not be subject to any form of inquiry, detention or legal proceedings in respect of opinions expressed or votes cast by them in the performance of their duties’;

G.  whereas Ioannis Lagos performed his actions during a plenary session of the European Parliament, within the precincts where the plenary sitting itself was being conducted, in the performance of his duties as a Member of the European Parliament;

H.  whereas the actions by Ioannis Lagos were therefore made in the context of his duties as a Member of and his work at the European Parliament;

1.  Decides not to waive the immunity of Ioannis Lagos;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of its committee responsible immediately to the competent authority of the Hellenic Republic and to Ioannis Lagos.

(1) Judgment of the Court of Justice of 21 October 2008, Marra v De Gregorio and Clemente, C-200/07 and C‑201/07, ECLI:EU:C:2008:579; judgment of the General Court of 19 March 2010, Gollnisch v Parliament, T‑42/06, ECLI:EU:T:2010:102; judgment of the Court of Justice of 6 September 2011, Patriciello, C-163/10, ECLI: EU:C:2011:543; judgment of the General Court of 17 January 2013, Gollnisch v Parliament, T-346/11 and T-347/11, ECLI:EU:T:2013:23; judgment of the Court of Justice of 19 December 2019, Junqueras Vies, C‑502/19, ECLI:EU:C:2019:1115.
(2) Judgment of the General Court of 30 April 2019, Briois v Parliament, T‑214/18, ECLI:EU:T:2019:266.


EU/Norway Agreement: modification of concessions on all the tariff-rate quotas included in the EU Schedule CLXXV as a consequence of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union ***
PDF 117kWORD 43k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 27 April 2021 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion on behalf of the Union, of the Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway pursuant to Article XXVIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 relating to the modification of concessions on all the tariff-rate quotas included in the EU Schedule CLXXV as a consequence of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union (10643/20 – C9-0424/2020 – 2020/0230(NLE))
P9_TA(2021)0120A9-0035/2021

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (10643/20),

–  having regard to the Agreement in the form of an Exchange of Letters between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway pursuant to Article XXVIII of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 relating to the modification of concessions on all the tariff-rate quotas included in the EU Schedule CLXXV as a consequence of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union (10644/20),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 207(4), first subparagraph, and Article 218(6), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C9-0424/2020),

–  having regard to Rule 105(1) and (4), and Rule 114(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on International Trade (A9-0035/2021),

1.  Gives its consent to the conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Kingdom of Norway.


EU/Honduras Voluntary Partnership Agreement ***
PDF 114kWORD 42k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 27 April 2021 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Honduras on forest law enforcement, governance and trade in timber products to the European Union (12543/2020 – C9-0084/2021 – 2020/0157(NLE))
P9_TA(2021)0121A9-0053/2021

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (12543/2020),

–  having regard to the draft Voluntary Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Honduras on forest law enforcement, governance and trade in timber products to the European Union (10365/2020),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 207(3), first subparagraph and Article 207(4), first subparagraph and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v) and Article 218(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C9‑0084/2021),

–  having regard to its non-legislative resolution of 27 April 2021(1) on the draft decision,

–  having regard to Rule 105(1) and (4), and Rule 114(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Development,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on International Trade (A9-0053/2021),

1.  Gives its consent to the conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Republic of Honduras.

(1) Texts adopted of that date, P9_TA(0000)0000.


Implementation report on the road safety aspects of the Roadworthiness Package
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European Parliament resolution of 27 April 2021 on the implementation report on the road safety aspects of the Roadworthiness Package (2019/2205(INI))
P9_TA(2021)0122A9-0028/2021

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Roadworthiness Package, comprising Directive 2014/45/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers(1), Directive 2014/46/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 amending Council Directive 1999/37/EC on the registration documents for vehicles(2), and Directive 2014/47/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on the technical roadside inspection of the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles circulating in the Union(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 November 2017 on saving lives: boosting car safety in the EU(4),

–   having regard to its resolution of 31 May 2018 with recommendations to the Commission on odometer manipulation in motor vehicles: revision of the EU legal framework(5),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 20 July 2010 entitled ‘Towards a European road safety area: policy orientations on road safety 2011-2020’ (COM(2010)0389),

–   having regard to the Commission Staff Working Document ‘EU Road Safety Policy Framework 2021-2030 – Next steps towards ‘Vision Zero’ (SWD(2019)0283),

–  having regard to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 3.6 of halving the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2020, and SDG 11.2 of providing by 2030 access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all and improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and elderly persons;

–  having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy – Putting European transport on track for the future’ (COM(2020)0789),

–   having regard to its resolution on a European strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems(6), which calls on the Commission to rapidly publish a legislative proposal on access to in-vehicle data and resources,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 16 February 2020 on a European strategy for data (COM(2020)0066), which mentions the update of current legislation on access to in-vehicle data to ensure fair access to certain car data,

–  having regard to the European implementation assessment commissioned by the European Parliamentary Research Service and published in September 2020 on the implementation of the Roadworthiness Package,

–  having regard to the Commission report of 4 November 2020 on the implementation of Directive 2014/45/EU on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers (COM(2020)0699),

–  having regard to the Commission report of 3 November 2020 on the implementation of Directive 2014/47/EU on the technical roadside inspection of commercial vehicles circulating in the Union (COM(2020)0676),

–  having regard to the study commissioned by the Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) and published in February 2019 on the inclusion of light trailers and two- or three-wheel vehicles in the scope of the periodic roadworthiness testing,

–  having regard to the study commissioned by DG MOVE and published in February 2019 on the inclusion of eCall in the periodic roadworthiness testing of motor vehicles,

–  having regard to the feasibility study commissioned by DG MOVE and published in April 2015 on the Vehicle Information Platform,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2019/2144 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 November 2019 on type-approval requirements for motor vehicles and their trailers, and systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles, as regards their general safety and the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users(7),

–  having regard to Rule 54 of its Rules of Procedure, as well as Article 1(1)(e) of, and Annex 3 to, the decision of the Conference of Presidents of 12 December 2002 on the procedure for granting authorisation to draw up own-initiative reports,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A9-0028/2021),

A.  whereas in 2010 the EU adopted a road safety policy aimed at reducing the number of road fatalities by 50 % by 2020; whereas in 2011 the EU set out the ‘vision zero’ objective, which envisages zero fatalities in road transport by 2050; whereas in 2019, around 22 800 people died and some 135 000 were seriously injured on Europe’s roads; whereas more effective and more coordinated measures need to be taken at EU level and by the Member States if the vision zero goal is to be achieved;

B.  whereas despite efforts to improve road safety in the EU, progress in reducing road fatality rates has, albeit considerable, been too slow in recent years; whereas technical defects in vehicles are deemed responsible for around 5 % of accidents involving vehicles in freight transport; whereas poor maintenance of vehicles is deemed responsible for 4 % of accidents involving road users;

C.  whereas preliminary figures for 2019 show that there were fewer fatalities on EU roads compared to the previous year, but that progress remains too slow; whereas it is certain that the EU target of halving the number of road deaths between 2010 and the end of 2020 will be missed by approximately half, as only a 23 % decrease has been registered so far; whereas frequent, detailed and periodic vehicle inspections carried out by well-qualified inspectors, as well as technical roadside inspections, are fundamental for increasing road safety;

D.  whereas the massive divergence of road fatality rates between Member States, with over four times more road deaths in the worst-performing country than in the best, underlines the need for special monitoring, partnership and assistance to the Member States with the worst results;

E.  whereas major differences in road safety still persist between the Member States in Eastern Europe and those in Western Europe; whereas the former are often becoming the destination for the second-hand car fleet originating from the latter, which may pose both human safety and environmental risks that need to be considered at EU level;

F.  whereas, besides climate and environmental concerns, vehicle roadworthiness is also a matter of public health, both in terms of ensuring road safety and also in relation to the impact of emissions on air quality; whereas recent emission scandals proved the need for independent inspections over the entire lifetime of a vehicle, taking into account its actual emissions;

G.  whereas an analysis of Member States’ transposition and implementation of the Roadworthiness Package reveals that harmonisation procedures need to be enhanced at EU level;

H.  whereas the second-hand car market in the European Union is two to three times larger than the market of new cars, and whereas odometer fraud in second-hand cars seriously compromises road safety; whereas studies estimate the share of tampered vehicles to be between 5 and 12 % of used cars in national sales and between 30 and 50 % of cross-border sales; whereas only six Member States recognise odometer manipulation as a criminal offence; whereas the lack of a common European database also hinders the law enforcement against such fraudulent practices;

I.  whereas the increased use of automated driving features requires an update of the Roadworthiness Package to include inspection and training vis-à-vis the new advanced driving assistance features to be introduced as from 2022;

J.  whereas some Member States have already introduced instruments to minimise odometer manipulation such as ‘Car-Pass’ in Belgium and ‘Nationale AutoPas’ (NAP) in the Netherlands; whereas both these Member States use a database for collecting odometer readings at every maintenance, service, repair and periodical inspection of the vehicle, without collecting any personal data, and both have almost eradicated odometer fraud in their domains within a short timeframe;

K.  whereas the quality of road infrastructure is of paramount importance for road safety; whereas connectivity and digital infrastructure are, and will be more and more, of paramount importance for road safety with the rise of connected and autonomous vehicles;

Recommendations

Transposition and implementation of the Roadworthiness Package – EU safety objectives

1.  Welcomes the fact that the transposition of the Roadworthiness Package and the implementation of some of its provisions have shown an improved harmonisation of national procedures, in particular as far as the frequency, content and method of vehicle inspection tests is concerned;

2.  Welcomes the fact that the transposition of the Roadworthiness Package has helped to improve the quality of the periodic technical inspections, the qualification level of inspectors, and Member States’ coordination and standards relating to roadside inspection of vehicles, in order to enhance road safety;

3.  Regrets the fact that, despite the better quality of the periodic technical inspections and the positive implications of this for road safety, the Roadworthiness Package contains some non-mandatory provisions that have not been transposed with sufficient stringency or simply not been transposed at all; highlights the need to gradually move away from voluntary provisions and develop a system of obligatory requirements to increase the harmonisation at EU level of aspects such as cargo securing, information exchange and cooperation between the Member States, and recalls the particular importance of these measures for cross-border regions;

4.  Regrets the fact that several Member States have not transposed the Roadworthiness Package on time and that the Commission had to launch infringement procedures against one Member State; urges the Member States in question to swiftly transpose the missing provisions of the Roadworthiness Package into their national legislation, and to fully implement all their obligations for the establishment of complete technical information, given that road safety for European citizens is European Union priority;

5.  Regrets that inadequate financing for inspection activities, including inspection staff, equipment and training, continues to jeopardise the achievement of Roadworthiness objectives; stresses that Member States should put sufficient financial and administrative support at the disposal of their road safety authorities to efficiently implement the Roadworthiness Package and its future revised version;

Frequency and content of tests

6.  Welcomes the fact that following the entry into force of the Roadworthiness Package, 90 % of vehicle inspections have occurred according to the same intervals as or at even more stringent intervals than those set by the Package, contributing to a large extent to reducing the number of unsafe vehicles circulating on EU roads; regrets the fact, however, that some Member States still require longer intervals than those set by the Package, reducing safety on running conditions; calls on the Member States in question to comply with the intervals set by the Package without further delay, as the security and lives of EU citizens are at stake;

7.  Calls on the Commission to consider tightening the test regime and introducing the obligation of additional checks after reaching a specified mileage for vehicles of category M1 in use as a taxi or ambulance and vehicles of category N1 used by parcel delivery service providers and to consider extending this obligation to other vehicles within these categories in use for further commercial purposes;

8.  Notes the rise in the use of individual vehicles and shared mobility for public transport and/or logistics purposes; requests that the Commission assess whether the frequency of inspections of these vehicles should be increased accordingly, by including a possibility for an annual mandatory inspection or by reflecting for example the intensity of their circulation in terms of mileage and the related obsolescence of components, as well as the quantity of passengers transported;

9.   Notes that the mutual recognition of roadworthiness tests for second-hand vehicles imported from other Member States is not envisaged in cases in which Member States have different periodicity of tests, hence the Package provides only limited mutual recognition in this regard; calls on the Commission to incorporate an EU certification for second-hand cars into the next revision of the Roadworthiness Package;

10.  Notes that motorcyclists are considered vulnerable road users, and fatality rates among motorcyclists are decreasing the slowest among all vehicles users in the EU; notes that the tampering and tuning of mopeds in particular is increasing the risk of accidents for young people and young adults; calls on the Commission therefore to consider extending the obligation to conduct roadside inspections to two- and three-wheel vehicles, including the 5 % minimum yearly inspection target, as these vehicles are currently completely excluded from the scope of Directive 2014/47/EU;

11.  Calls on the Commission to consider ending exceptions from the obligation for periodical technical inspections for two- and three-wheel vehicles, as currently possible under Directive 2014/45/EU; calls on the Commission to assess in its forthcoming evaluation the possibility to include in the obligatory periodical technical inspection regime also categories of two and three-wheel vehicles with an engine displacement of less than 125 cm³ and light trailers, on the basis of the relevant road accident data and cost-benefit factors such as proximity of testing sites in remote areas, administrative burden and financial costs for EU citizens; asks the Commission to base its assessment on a comparison of the results between countries where periodical technical inspections (PTI) are already in force for all vehicles in these categories and countries that do not conduct such tests and the effects in terms of road safety; calls for the introduction of an additional check schedule, based on the mileage reached, for motorcycles used for parcel or food delivery or other commercial carriage of goods or persons;

12.  Notes that the tolerance level for expired periodical technical inspections varies greatly across Member States from up to four months to zero tolerance; calls on the Commission to harmonise the tolerance level by introducing a maximum level of a short period of time that does not compromise the timely implementation of periodic technical inspections and by increasing the consequent penalties for non-compliance;

13.  Recalls that vehicles adapted to be driven by persons with disabilities have particular functionalities and setups; points out that vehicles used for the transport of passengers with disabilities must comply with specific technical conditions such as anchored belts, as well as adapted spaces in order ensure their safety; stresses the need to ensure that all these essential features are duly incorporated into every inspection;

14.  Deplores the fact that Member States have hitherto put in place only generic measures when transposing provisions on penalties for odometer fraud; urges the Member States to comply with this clear requirement of the Roadworthiness Package, to transpose more targeted measures into their national legislation without further delay and to provide the necessary human and financial resources for its enforcement; regrets the fact that the current provision on penalties for odometer fraud remains weak, as it only requires them to be ‘effective, proportionate, dissuasive and non-discriminatory’, leaving the actual amounts and corresponding dissuasive measures largely to the discretion of Member States; considers that more harmonised and concrete penalties for odometer fraud should be laid down in the next revision along with further robust anti-tampering measures, including adequate cybersecurity mechanisms and encryption technologies to put obstacles to electronic tampering and make it easier to detect; calls on the Commission to prescribe the guaranteed accessibility of certain vehicle-specific data, functions and software information for inspection organisations; calls for a requirement for Member States to create legal, technical and operational barriers in order to make odometer manipulations impossible; stresses that the absence of a consistent database of mileage data collection for second-hand cars, mutually recognised and exchanged between the Member States, is an essential barrier for the detecting of odometer frauds;

15.  Calls on the Commission to include in the next revision of the Package mandatory provisions enabling the Member States to register mandatory odometer readings from each inspection, service, maintenance operation and major repair carried out, starting with the vehicle’s first registration;

16.  Calls on the Commission to take due account of the new emissions tests in real driving conditions provided for in the Euro 6 regulation and possible future revisions; calls on the Commission to include measurements that would reflect such tests within the scope of periodic technical inspections and any other possible developments in the next review of the Roadworthiness Package; calls on the Commission and the Member States to harmonise both the technologies for measuring emissions in roadworthiness tests and the maximum tolerable levels to ensure that all vehicles in European roads comply with emissions standards;

Equipment used and training of inspectors

17.   Welcomes the fact that in all Member States, following the entry into force of the Roadworthiness Package, testing equipment has been harmonised and fulfils certain minimum requirements, thus improving the uniformity of roadworthiness checks across the EU;

18.  Notes that although all Member States have introduced minimum qualifications for inspectors carrying out roadworthiness checks, some do not follow the requirements prescribed by Annex IV to Directive 2014/45/EU on periodic roadworthiness tests; calls on those Member States to align their requirements accordingly; asks the Commission to promote an exchange of good practices and lessons learnt among Member States on how to implement Annex IV to Directive 2014/45/EU and to assess the need for regular refresher trainings and appropriate examinations; calls on the Commission to promote regular updates and harmonisation of the training content among Member States to adjust inspectors’ knowledge and skills to the developing process of automation and digitalisation of the automotive sector, particularly in relation to advanced driving assistance, driverless systems and the use of electronic information exchange systems among national authorities responsible for road safety, including on safe data sharing, cybersecurity and drivers’ personal data protection; underlines that manipulation and fraud in electronic safety features, such as advanced driving assistance systems, pose a high safety risk and therefore need to be detected by inspectors; stresses that inspectors should be given specific training on checking software integrity;

19.  Reiterates that steps should be taken to guarantee the independence of inspectors and inspection organisations from the vehicle trade, maintenance and repair industry to avoid any financial conflicts of interest, including for checking emissions, while providing stronger safeguards in terms of civil liability for all parts;

Technical roadside inspections and cargo securing

20.  Notes that according to Commission reports, roadside inspections of commercial vehicles have been falling in the last six years; deplores this trend and recalls that under the Roadworthiness Package, Member States have since 2018 been obliged to ensure that a minimum number of roadside inspections are carried out in relation to the number of registered vehicles on their territory (5 %); calls on Member States to step up their efforts to reach the 5 % minimum target, and recalls that the first reporting obligation when this target will be scrutinised will be due by 31 March 2021 for the years 2019-2020; calls on the Commission to include vehicles in category N1(8) used for commercial road haulage purposes in the scope of roadside inspections, given their increase in number and high mileage;

21.  Calls on the Commission to work with Member States to further improve the quality and non-discriminatory nature of these roadside inspections in line with internal market rules, for example by setting and collecting key performance indicator (KPI) data and encouraging the use of risk rating profile systems for a better targeting of checks and penalties, especially for repeat offenders, while fully respecting the EU data protection framework;

22.  Deplores the fact that cuts in national budget spending on road safety law enforcement and road maintenance seems to have contributed to less frequent roadside inspections over the past few years; calls in this regard on national authorities to guarantee increased financing of inspection activities, particularly in view of the potential introduction of mandatory testing for new types of vehicles;

23.  Regrets the fact that the provisions in the Roadworthiness Package relating to the inspection of cargo securing are not mandatory, leading to only a few Member States transposing the relevant safety measures; concludes, therefore, that harmonisation is far from accomplished in this regard; urges the Commission to propose a reinforcement of these provisions in the next revision, including on harmonised minimum requirements for cargo securing, mandatory cargo securing equipment for each vehicle and for the minimum range of competences, training and knowledge for both the personnel involved in cargo securing and for the inspectors;

Information records and data exchange between the Member States

24.  Regrets the fact that only a few Member States keep a national electronic database of the major and dangerous deficiencies brought to light by roadside inspections and that Member States seldom notify the results of these inspections to the national contact point of the Member State in which the vehicle is registered; regrets the fact that the Roadworthiness Package does not set out any action that the Member State of registration should take once it has been notified of such major and dangerous deficiencies; urges the Commission to reinforce these provisions in the next revision, including by setting a unified scheme of actions which should be taken by the Member State of registration after receiving such a notification;

25.  Calls on the Commission, in view of the electronic data record for vehicles under the Roadworthiness Package, to consider amending Directive 2014/46/EU on registration documents for vehicles in order to end the obligation of delivery of physical documents and the obligation for the driver to present printed registration certificates; notes that conditions should be put in place for inspectors to make full use of electronic records;

26.  Calls on the Member States to facilitate systematic data exchange on roadworthiness testing and odometer readings between their respective competent authorities for testing, registration and vehicle approval, test equipment manufacturers and vehicle manufacturers; welcomes, in this regard, the Commission’s feasibility study on the Vehicle Information Platform; calls on the Commission and the Member States to work to ensure that a Vehicle Information Platform is set up as part of the next revision in order to expedite and facilitate data exchange and ensure more effective coordination between the Member States; stresses that this Vehicle Information Platform should enable an entirely paperless process of inspection and data exchange, in full respect of cybersecurity and data protection vis-à-vis third parties; welcomes in this regard the deployment by the Commission of the EU MOVEHUB platform and its recently developed ODOCAR module, providing an IT infrastructure for the exchange of odometer readings across the Union based on a database solution, including the possibility to exchange information with the Eucaris network; calls on the Commission to evaluate whether the use of the EU MOVEHUB should be made mandatory for Member States in a future revision;

27.  Calls on the Commission to assess during the next revision the possibility of including, as part of a mandatory data exchange on vehicle history between registration authorities, not only odometer readings but also information about accidents and the frequency of significant malfunctions, as this would ensure that EU citizens are protected from fraud and better informed as regards the history and state of their vehicles and formerly hidden vehicle repairs; considers that road accidents should trigger additional inspections, which help to ensure that vehicles are properly repaired and enhance road safety;

A future-proof framework

28.  Calls on the Commission to take due account of the technical progress in vehicle safety features for the next revision; notes that pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2019/2144, new vehicles will need to start being equipped with new advanced safety and driver assistance systems from 2022; calls on the Commission to include such new systems within the scope of periodic technical inspections as well as the skills and knowledge of vehicle inspectors, and to reduce the risk of tampering and manipulation of such systems; requests that the Commission also include eCall as well as software and ‘over-the-air’ updates in periodic technical inspections(9), and that it draw up guidelines and standards for regular safety checks and inspections of autonomous and connected vehicles; calls on the Commission to explore the further use of sensors embedded in vehicles in the context of roadside inspections, and to pay special attention to the particular requirements of self-diagnosis systems of vehicles and to the overriding principle of public health; calls in this regard on car manufacturers and authorities to cooperate on the implementation of new driving assistance technologies, in order to ensure permanent compliance with standards and to help foresee future trends;

29.  Notes the rise of new modes of transport using public roads such as e-scooters, onewheels and hoverboards, among others; requests that the Commission assess whether these new modes should be addressed in the upcoming revision with the aim of improving road safety;

30.  Calls on the Commission to organise a European Year of Road Safety within the coming years, in preparation for 2030 as the intermediate target date for the achievement of Vision Zero;

31.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure adequate funding for road infrastructure quality, in particular maintenance; furthermore, calls on the Commission to strengthen its approach to maintenance by taking appropriate measures to enhance long-term maintenance planning by Member States; notes that connectivity and digital security will be of paramount importance for the upcoming rise of connected and autonomous vehicles;

o
o   o

32.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 127, 29.4.2014, p. 51.
(2) OJ L 127, 29.4.2014, p. 129.
(3) OJ L 127, 29.4.2014, p. 134.
(4) OJ C 356, 4.10.2018, p. 2.
(5) OJ C 76, 9.3.2020, p. 151.
(6) OJ C 162, 10.5.2019, p. 2.
(7) OJ L 325, 16.12.2019, p. 1.
(8) Vehicles used for the carriage of goods and which have a maximum mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes (e.g. pick-up trucks, vans).
(9) See Annexes I and III to Directive 2014/45/EU.


Chemical residues in the Baltic Sea based on petitions 1328/2019 and 0406/2020 under Rule 227(2)
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European Parliament resolution of 27 April 2021 on chemical residues in the Baltic Sea, based on Petitions Nos 1328/2019 and 0406/2020 (2021/2567(RSP))
P9_TA(2021)0123B9-0224/2021

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Petitions Nos 1328/2019 and 0406/2020,

–  having regard to Article 3(3) of the Treaty on European Union, Articles 4 and 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and Articles 35 and 37 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to its resolution of 18 September 1997 on the ecological problem of the Baltic Sea(1), the objective of Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy(2) to reduce pollution and hazardous substances, and the commitment of the Member States to monitor underwater chemical munitions under Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive)(3),

–  having regard to the commitments to ‘save the sea’ and make the Baltic Sea Region a world leader in maritime security under the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, and the commitment of the EU Member States to eliminate sea-dumped chemical munitions and unexploded ordnances under the EU Maritime Security Strategy Action Plan,

–  having regard to the Commission’s zero pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment as set out in Chapter 2.1.8 of its communication of 11 December 2019 on the European Green Deal (COM(2019)0640), and the EU’s commitment to halt biodiversity loss and become a world leader in addressing the global biodiversity crisis in accordance with its Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 and Biodiversity Strategy for 2030,

–  having regard to the obligations undertaken by the states parties pursuant to Article 2 of the 1992 UN Economic Commission for Europe Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes and Article 4 of the 1999 Protocol on Water and Health thereto,

–  having regard to the Commission’s upcoming Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme for 2021-2027,

–  having regard to the 1992 Helsinki Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, the Baltic Sea Action Plan and the findings of the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM) on sea-dumped chemical munitions,

–  having regard to the commitments of states under the UN Sustainable Development Goals, namely target 3.9 to reduce deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and contamination, target 6.3 to improve water quality by eliminating dumping and minimising the release of hazardous chemicals, and targets 14.1 and 14.2 to prevent marine pollution and protect marine and coastal ecosystems,

–  having regard to resolution 1612(2008) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on chemical munitions buried in the Baltic Sea, and to the accompanying report of 28 April 2008,

–  having regard to the deliberations on Petitions Nos 1328/2019 and 0406/2020 during the meeting of the Committee on Petitions held on 3 December 2020,

–  having regard to Rule 227(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas at least 50 000 tonnes of conventional and chemical weapons containing hazardous substances (such as mustard and tear gas and nerve and choking chemical agents) have been dumped into the Baltic Sea since the end of the Second World War;

B.  whereas these munitions degrade slowly and leak toxic substances into the water, posing a danger to human health by contaminating food and causing severe burns and poisoning upon direct contact, damaging marine ecosystems and biodiversity, and jeopardising local economic activities such as fishing, the extraction of natural resources and the generation of renewable energy from power plants;

C.  whereas owing to its geographical situation, the Baltic Sea is a semi-enclosed sea with a slow turnover of water and very low self-cleaning capacity; whereas it is considered one of the most polluted seas in the world, with oxygen levels falling in its deep waters, which is already putting marine life in danger;

D.  whereas valuable research has been carried out by the ad hoc HELCOM Working Group on Dumped Chemical Munitions (CHEMU), the EU-funded project entitled ‘Modelling of Ecological Risks related to Sea-Dumped Chemical Weapons’ (MERCW), and the ad hoc HELCOM expert groups to Update and Review the Existing Information on Dumped Chemical Munitions in the Baltic Sea (MUNI) and on Environmental Risks of Hazardous Submerged Objects (SUBMERGED);

E.  whereas the need for greater cooperation was expressed during the Colloquium on the Challenges of Unexploded Munitions in the Sea held in Brussels on 20 February 2019;

F.  whereas the international community lacks reliable information about the volume, nature and locations of the disposed munitions owing to poor documentation of these activities and insufficient research on the seabed of the Baltic Sea;

G.  whereas no consensus has been reached on the current state of the munitions, the exact danger they pose and the possible solutions to this problem;

H.  whereas the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme provided funding for the 2011-2014 Chemical Munitions Search and Assessment (CHEMSEA), 2016-2019 Decision Aid for Marine Munitions (DAIMON) and 2019-2021 DAIMON 2 projects for a total of EUR 10.13 million (EUR 7.8 million of which – 77 % – came from the European Regional Development Fund); whereas these projects studied the dumping locations and the content and state of the munitions and how they react to Baltic conditions, and provided administrations with decision-making tools and training in technologies used for risk analysis, remediation methods and environmental impact assessment;

I.  whereas the issue of conventional and chemical munitions dumped in the sea is being addressed by NATO, which has adequate tools, instruments and experience to resolve this problem successfully;

J.  whereas the CHEMSEA project, which came to an end in 2014, concluded that while chemical munition dumping sites do not represent an immediate threat, they will continue to be a problem for the Baltic Sea;

K.  whereas the high transport density and high rate of economic activity in the Baltic Sea Region render this not only an environmental issue, but also one with considerable economic implications, including for the fishing industry;

1.  Underlines that the environmental and health dangers posed by the munitions disposed of in the Baltic Sea after the Second World War is not only a regional, European issue, but a serious global problem with unpredictable short- and long-term transboundary effects;

2.  Urges the international community to embrace a spirit of cooperation and genuine solidarity to step up its monitoring of dumped munitions in order to minimise the possible risks for the marine environment and activities; urges all sides party to classified information about the dumping activities and their exact locations to declassify this information and to allow the countries affected, the Commission and the European Parliament to access it as a matter of urgency;

3.  Calls on the Commission and the Joint Programming Committee of Interreg Baltic Sea Region to secure adequate financing for research and actions required to resolve the dangers posed by the munitions dumped in the Baltic Sea; welcomes the dedicated efforts and constructive research undertaken by HELCOM and within the frameworks of the CHEMSEA, DAIMON and DAIMON 2 projects financed by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme;

4.  Calls on all sides involved to comply with international environmental law and provide additional financial contributions to the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme for 2021-2027; welcomes the 2021-2027 transnational Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme, which will fund measures to reduce the pollution of the Baltic Sea;

5.  Stresses the necessity for regular monitoring of the state of corrosion of the munitions and an up-to-date environmental risk assessment on the impacts of the contaminants released on human health, marine ecosystems and the region’s biodiversity;

6.  Welcomes the efforts made at a national level, such as mapping the locations of the dumped munitions and monitoring and removing hazardous materials;

7.  Emphasises the importance, in this connection, of interstate and interregional cooperation mechanisms, free access to public information, and the efficient exchange of scientific knowledge and research;

8.  Calls on the Commission, for the purposes of its zero pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment, to establish an expert group with the Member States affected and other stakeholders and organisations, tasked with the following mandate: (i) studying and mapping the exact locations of contaminated areas; (ii) proposing suitable environmentally friendly and cost-effective solutions for monitoring and cleaning the pollution with the ultimate aim of removing or fully neutralising hazardous materials where extraction is impossible; (iii) developing reliable decision-making support tools; (iv) conducting an awareness-raising campaign to inform the groups affected (such as fishers, local residents, tourists and investors) of the potential health and economic risks; and (v) developing emergency response guidelines for environmental disasters;

9.  Regrets the fact that none of the EUR 8.8 million allotted under the European Neighbourhood Instrument was used for the DAIMON or DAIMON 2 projects under the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme;

10.  Calls on the Commission to engage all the relevant EU agencies and institutions, including the European Defence Agency, to utilise all the available resources and to make sure that the problem will be reflected in all the relevant EU policies and programming processes, including the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the Maritime Security Strategy Action Plan;

11.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the issue of munitions dumped in European seas is included in the horizontal programmes in order to enable the submission of projects covering regions affected by the same problem (the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, North Sea and Baltic Sea) and facilitate the exchange of experience and best practices;

12.  Asks the Commission to devote concerted efforts to tackling pollution in the Baltic Sea and to foster all types of regional, national and international cooperation to this end, including through its partnership with NATO;

13.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and other states concerned.

(1) OJ C 304, 6.10.1997, p. 147.
(2) OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 164, 25.6.2008, p. 19.


Establishing Horizon Europe – laying down its rules for participation and dissemination ***II
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Resolution
Annex
European Parliament legislative resolution of 27 April 2021 on the Council position at first reading with a view to the adoption of a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing Horizon Europe – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, laying down its rules for participation and dissemination, and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1290/2013 and (EU) No 1291/2013 (07064/2/2020 – C9-0111/2021 – 2018/0224(COD))
P9_TA(2021)0124A9-0122/2021

(Ordinary legislative procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Council position at first reading (07064/2/2020 – C9‑0111/2021),

–  having regard to the opinions of the European Economic and Social Committee of 17 October 2018(1) and of 16 July 2020(2),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 9 October 2018(3),

–  having regard to its position at first reading(4) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2018)0435),

–  having regard to the amended Commission proposal (COM(2020)0459),

–  having regard to Article 294(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the provisional agreement approved by the committee responsible under Rule 74(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A9-0122/2021),

1.  Approves the Council position at first reading;

2.  Approves the joint statement by Parliament, the Council and the Commission annexed to this resolution;

3.  Approves its statement annexed to this resolution;

4.  Takes note of the Council and Commission statements annexed to this resolution;

5.  Notes that the act is adopted in accordance with the Council position;

6.  Instructs its President to sign the act with the President of the Council, in accordance with Article 297(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

7.  Instructs its Secretary-General to sign the act, once it has been verified that all the procedures have been duly completed, and, in agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council, to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

8.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

ANNEX

Joint political statement on the re-use decommitted funds in Horizon Europe

In the Joint Declaration on the re-use of decommitted funds in relation to the research programme(5) the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed to make available again to the benefit of the research programme commitment appropriations, corresponding to the amount up to EUR 0,5 billion (in 2018 prices) in the period 2021-2027 of decommitments, which results from total or partial non-implementation of projects belonging to the ‘Horizon Europe’ Framework Programme or its predecessor ‘Horizon 2020’, as provided for in Article 15(3) of the Financial Regulation. Without prejudice to the powers of the budgetary authority and to the Commission's powers to implement the budget, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agree that the indicative distribution of that amount will be as follows up to:

—  EUR 300 000 000 in constant 2018 prices for the cluster 'Digital, Industry and Space' in particular for quantum research;

—  EUR 100 000 000 in constant 2018 prices for the cluster 'Climate, Energy and Mobility'; and

—  EUR 100 000 000 in constant 2018 prices for the cluster 'Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society'.

Parliament statement on association agreements

Article 218(6), second subparagraph, (a)(i) TFEU provides for the consent of the European Parliament in the case of association agreements within the meaning of Article 217 TFEU. Moreover, the conditions governing the association of a third country to Horizon Europe are often part of such association agreements. In order to give its consent, the European Parliament is to be informed immediately and fully at all stages of the procedure, in accordance with Article 218(10) TFEU. Furthermore, to ensure proper Parliamentary scrutiny it is necessary that those agreements cover all relevant aspects of the Union’s relationship with a given third country concerning Horizon Europe.

The European Parliament therefore expects that when, pursuant to Article 218(9) TFEU, the Council adopts a decision pursuant to Article 218(9) TFEU establishing the positions to be adopted on behalf of the Union in a body set up by an agreement which entails the association of a third country to Horizon Europe, those positions do not result in a circumvention of the requirement for obtaining the European Parliament’s consent by leaving the determination of essential aspects of that a third country's participation in Horizon Europe to that body.

Therefore, The European Parliament considers that such Council decisions pursuant to Article 218(9) TFEU, when they which concern parts of association agreements that deal with the association of a third country to Horizon Europe, should be kept to an absolute minimum. Furthermore, if the adoption of such a Council decision is being considered by the Union's negotiator or by the Council or its special committee when addressing directives to the negotiator, the European Parliament expects to be informed immediately and fully at all stages of the procedure, including by being provided a reasoned opinion on why the adoption of a position on behalf of the Union by a body set up by an agreement is necessary for the achievement of the Union's objectives as set out in the [Horizon Europe Regulation] and the [Council Decision establishing the specific programme]."

Statement by the Commission on Recital 47

The Commission intends to implement the EIC Accelerator budget in a way to ensure that the grant-only support to SMEs, including start-ups, corresponds to the support provided under the SME instrument budget of the Horizon 2020 Programme, in accordance with the terms established in Article 48, paragraph 1 and recital 47 of the Horizon Europe Regulation.

Statement by the Commission on Art. 6

Upon request, the Commission intends to exchange views with the responsible Committee in the European Parliament on:(i) the list of potential partnerships candidates based on the Articles 185 and 187 TFEU which will be covered by (inception) impact assessments; (ii) the list of tentative missions identified by the Mission boards; (iii) the results of the Strategic Plan before its formal adoption, and (iv) it will present and share documents related to work programmes.

Statement by the Commission on ethics/stem cell research- Art. 19

For the Horizon Europe Framework Programme, the European Commission proposes to continue with the same ethical framework for deciding on the EU funding of human embryonic stem cell research as in Horizon 2020 Framework Programme.

The European Commission proposes the continuation of this ethics framework because it has developed, based on experience, a responsible approach for an area of science which holds much promise and that has proven to work satisfactorily in the context of a research programme in which researchers participate from many countries with very diverse regulatory situations.

1.  The decision on the Horizon Europe Framework Programme explicitly excludes three fields of research from Union funding:

—  research activities aiming at human cloning for reproductive purposes;

—  research activities intended to modify the genetic heritage of human beings which could make such changes heritable;

—  research activities intended to create human embryos solely for the purpose of research or for the purpose of stem cell procurement, including by means of somatic cell nuclear transfer.

2.  No activity will be funded that is forbidden in all Member States. No activity will be funded in a Member State where such activity is forbidden.

3.  The decision on Horizon Europe and the provisions for the ethics framework governing the Union funding of human embryonic stem cell research entail in no way a value judgment on the regulatory or ethics framework governing such research in Member States.

4.  In calling for proposals, the European Commission does not explicitly solicit the use of human embryonic stem cells. The use of human stem cells, be they adult or embryonic, if any, depends on the judgment of the scientists in view of the objectives they want to achieve. In practice, by far the largest part of Union funds for stem cell research is devoted to the use of adult stem cells. There is no reason why this would substantially change in Horizon Europe.

5.  Each project proposing to use human embryonic stem cells must successfully pass a scientific evaluation during which the necessity of using such stem cells to achieve the scientific objectives is assessed by independent scientific experts.

6.  Proposals which successfully pass the scientific evaluation are then subject to a stringent ethics review organised by the European Commission. In this ethics review, account is taken of principles reflected in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and relevant international conventions such as the Convention of the Council of Europe on Human Rights and Biomedicine signed in Oviedo on 4 April 1997 and its additional protocols and the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and the Human Rights adopted by UNESCO. The ethics review also serves to check that the proposals respect the rules of the countries where the research will be carried out.

7.  In particular cases, an ethics check may be carried out during the lifetime of the project.

8.  Each project proposing to use human embryonic stem cells must obtain the approval of the relevant national or local ethics committee prior to the start of the relevant activities. All national rules and procedures must be respected, including on such issues as parental consent, absence of financial inducement, etc. Checks will be made on whether the project includes references to licensing and control measures to be taken by the competent authorities of the Member State where the research will be carried out.

9.  A proposal that successfully passes the scientific evaluation, the national or local ethics reviews and the European ethics review will be presented for approval, on a case by case basis, to the Member States, meeting as a committee acting in accordance with the examination procedure. No project involving the use of human embryonic stem cells will be funded that does not obtain approval from the Member States.

10.  The European Commission will continue to work to make the results from Union funded stem cell research widely accessible to all researchers, for the ultimate benefit of patients in all countries.

11.  The European Commission will support actions and initiatives that contribute to a coordination and rationalisation of HESC research within a responsible ethical approach. In particular, the Commission will continue to support a European registry of human embryonic stem cell lines. Support for such a registry will allow a monitoring of existing human embryonic stem cells in Europe, will contribute to maximise their use by scientists and may help to avoid unnecessary derivations of new stem cell lines.

12.  The European Commission will continue with the current practice and will not submit to the committee acting in accordance with the examination procedure proposals for projects which include research activities which destroy human embryos, including for the procurement of stem cells. The exclusion of funding of this step of research will not prevent Union funding of subsequent steps involving human embryonic stem cells.

Statement by the Commission on Art. 5

The Commission takes note of the compromise reached by the co-legislators on the wording of Article 5. In the Commission’s understanding the specific programme on defence research mentioned in Article 1 paragraph 2 point c) is limited only to the research actions under the future European Defence Fund while the development actions are considered outside the scope of this Regulation.

Statement by the Commission on human rights on Art. 16.1.d

The Commission fully subscribes to the respect of human rights as laid down in Article 21 Treaty on the European Union and its 2nd sub-para “The Union shall seek to develop relations and build partnerships with third countries, and international, regional or global organisations which share the principles referred to in the first subparagraph.” However, the Commission regrets the inclusion of the “respect of human rights” in the set of criteria for third countries to fulfil in order to be eligible for association to the Programme under Article 16 paragraph 1 point d)(1) d. No other EU programme for the future Multiannual Financial Framework saw the need to include such an explicit reference, while there is no question that the EU is seeking to pursue a consistent approach in its external relations with third countries as far as Human Rights protection is concerned across all its instruments and policy areas, and which should guide the Commission in the implementation of this provision.

Statement by the Council

The Council calls on the Commission to ensure the greatest involvement of the Council, during the negotiations of agreements associating third countries to Union programmes, including the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe, in accordance with Article 218 TFEU. To this end, a special committee may be designated by the Council in consultation with which the negotiations, including with regard to the design and content of such agreements, are conducted, in accordance with Article 218(4) TFEU.

In this regard, the Council recalls the principle of sincere cooperation among the EU institutions, laid down in art. 13(2) TEU, second sentence, and the relevant case-law of the EU Court of Justice on Article 218(4) TFEU, according to which the Commission must provide the special committee with all the information and documents necessary to monitor the progress of the negotiations, such as, in particular, the general aims announced and the positions taken by the other parties throughout the negotiations, in due time before the negotiating meetings, in order to allow the formulation of opinions and advice relating to the negotiations(6).

Where agreements associating third countries to Union programmes already exist and include a standing authorisation for the Commission to determine the specific terms and conditions applicable to each country concerning its participation in any given programme, and where the Commission is assisted in this task by a special committee, the Council recalls that the Commission must act in consultation with that special committee in a systematic manner during the negotiating process, for example by sharing draft texts ahead of meetings with the relevant third countries and by providing regular briefings and debriefings.

Where agreements associating third countries to Union programmes already exist but where no special committee is foreseen, the Council considers that the Commission should similarly engage with the Council and its preparatory bodies in a systematic manner during the negotiating process when determining the specific terms and conditions for the association to Horizon Europe.

Statement by the Commission on International Cooperation

The Commission takes note of the Council’s unilateral declaration, which it will duly consider, consistently with the Treaty, the jurisprudence of the EU Court of Justice, and the principle of institutional balance, when it consults the special committee under article 218(4) TFEU.

Statement by the Council on Art. 5

The Council recalls that it follows from Articles 179(3) and 182(1) TFEU, read in combination, that the Union can adopt only one multiannual Framework Programme setting out all the Union research and technological development activities. The Council is therefore of the view that the European Defence Fund mentioned in Art. 1(2)(c) of the Regulation establishing the Union Research Framework Programme - Horizon Europe, covering both the research and technological development activities of this Fund, is a specific programme implementing the Framework Programme within the meaning of Art. 182(3) TFEU and falls within the scope of the Regulation establishing that Framework Programme.

(1) OJ C 62, 15.2.2019, p. 33.
(2) OJ C 364, 28.10.2020, p. 124.
(3) OJ C 461, 21.12.2018, p. 79.
(4) Texts adopted of 17.4.2019, P8_TA(2019)0395.
(5) OJ C 444I, 22.12.2020, p. 3–3
(6) See judgment of 16 July 2015 in Commission v Council, C-425/13, EU:C:2015:483, paragraph 66.


Specific Programme implementing Horizon Europe – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation *
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Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 27 April 2021 on the draft Council decision on establishing the specific programme implementing Horizon Europe – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (08550/2019 – C9-0167/2020 – 2018/0225(CNS))
P9_TA(2021)0125A9-0118/2021

(Special legislative procedure – consultation)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Council draft (08550/2019),

–  having regard to the further request for consultation submitted by the Council in its letter of 18 June 2020 following the amended Commission proposal (COM(2020)0459) which supplemented the initial request for consultation,

–  having regard to the revised version of the Council draft (06199/2021) which reflects the final outcome of the negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council,

–  having regard to Article 182(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C9‑0167/2020),

–  having regard to the exchange of views between Parliament, Council and Commission on 9 April 2019 pursuant to point 25 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making(1),

—  having regard to its position at first reading(2) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2018)0436),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs on the proposed legal basis,

–  having regard to Rules 82 and 40 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A9-0118/2021),

1.  Approves the Council draft hereinafter set out;

2.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

3.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to substantially amend the text approved by Parliament;

4.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Draft
COUNCIL DECISION
on establishing the specific programme implementing Horizon Europe – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation



(Text with EEA relevance)

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 182(4) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(3),

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(4),

Acting in accordance with a special legislative procedure

Whereas:

(1)  In accordance with Article 182(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the Horizon Europe - Framework Programme for Research and Innovation ("Horizon Europe"), established by FP/RfP Regulation (EU) No … of the European Parliament and of the Council of…(5) , is to be implemented through specific programmes, which define the detailed rules for their implementation, fix their duration and provide for the means deemed necessary.

(2)  FP/RfP Regulation (EU) No … sets out the general and specific objectives of Horizon Europe, the structure and the broad lines of activities to be carried out, while this specific programme implementing Horizon Europe - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (the 'Specific Programme') should define the operational objectives and the activities which are specific to parts of Horizon Europe. The provisions on implementation set out in FP/RfP Regulation (EU) No … apply fully to the Specific Programme, including those relating to ethical principles.

(3)  In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of the Specific Programme, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission to adopt work programmes for the implementation of the Specific Programme. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6).

(4)  The Board of Governors of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), set up by Commission Decision 96/282/Euratom(7) has been consulted on the scientific and technological content of the Specific Programme on the non-nuclear direct actions of the JRC;

(5)  Acknowledging climate change as one of the biggest global and societal challenges and reflecting the importance of tackling climate change in line with the Union's commitments to implement the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this Specific Programme will contribute to mainstream climate actions and to the achievement of an overall target of 30 % of the EU budget expenditures supporting climate objectives. Climate mainstreaming shall be adequately integrated in research and innovation content and applied at all stages of the research cycle. Actions under this Specific Programme will contribute at least 35% of the overall financial envelope of the Specific Programme to climate objectives. Relevant actions will be identified during the Specific Programme's preparation and implementation, and reassessed in the context of the relevant evaluations and review processes. Attention will be paid to coal- and carbon-intensive areas of the Union in transition.

(6)  The Specific Programme's actions should address market failures or sub-optimal investment situations, in a proportionate manner, to boost investments in a proportionate and transparent manner, without duplicating or crowding out private financing and have a clear European added value and public return on investments.

(7)  Reflecting the important contribution that research and innovation should make to address challenges in food, agriculture, rural development and the bioeconomy, and to seize the corresponding research and innovation opportunities in close synergy with Common Agricultural Policy, relevant actions under the Specific Programme will be supported with EUR 8 952 000 000 in current prices for the cluster 'Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment' for the period 2021-2027.

(8)  The completion of the Digital Single Market and the growing opportunities from the convergence of digital and physical technologies requires a stepping up of investments. Horizon Europe will contribute to these efforts with a substantial increase of spending in main digital research and innovation activities compared to the Research and Innovation Framework Programme Horizon 2020(8). This should ensure that Europe remains at the forefront of global research and innovation in the digital field.

(9)  Financing types and the methods of implementation under this Decision shall be chosen on the basis of their ability to achieve the specific objectives of the actions and to deliver results, taking into account, in particular, the costs of controls, the administrative burden, and the expected risk of non-compliance. This should include consideration of the use of lump sums, flat rates and scales of unit costs.

(10)  Member States should be involved early in the process of defining missions.

(10a)  In order to ensure continuity in providing support in the relevant  policy area and to allow the implementation of the Programme as of the beginning of the multi-annual financial framework 2021-2027, this Decision should apply, with retroactive effect, from the beginning of the 2021 financial year and enter into force as a matter of urgency.

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

CHAPTER I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

Subject matter

This Decision establishes the specific programme implementing Horizon Europe - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (the ‘Specific Programme’), as set out in Article 1(3)(a) of the FP/RfP Regulation…/…/EU.

It lays down the operational objectives of the Specific Programme, the budget for the period 2021 – 2027, the rules for implementation of the Specific Programme and activities to be carried out under the Specific Programme.

Article 2

Operational objectives

1.  The Specific Programme shall contribute to the general and specific objectives set out in Article 3 of Regulation … FP/RfP Regulation

2.  The Specific Programme has the following operational objectives:

(a)  strengthening excellent basic and frontier research; reinforcing and spreading excellence, including by fostering wider participation throughout the Union;

(b)  reinforcing the link between research, innovation, and where appropriate, education and other policies, including complementarities with national and regional and EU research and innovation policies and activities;

(ba)  supporting the implementation of Union policy priorities including in particular the sustainable development goals and the Paris Agreement;

(c)  promoting responsible research and innovation, taking into account the precautionary principle,

(ca)  strengthening the gender dimension across the Programme;

(d)  increasing collaboration links in European research and innovation and across sectors and disciplines, including social sciences and humanities;

(da)  strengthening international cooperation;

(e)  connecting and developing to research infrastructures across the European Research Area and providing transnational access;

(g)  attracting talent, training and retaining researchers and innovators in the European Research Area, including through mobility;

(h)  fostering open science and ensuring visibility to the public and open access to scientific publications and research data, including appropriate exceptions;

(i)  encouraging exploitation of R&I results and actively disseminating and exploiting results, in particular for leveraging private investments and policy development;

(m)  delivering, through R&I missions, on ambitious goals within a set timeframe;

(n)  improving the relationship and interaction between science and society, including the visibility of science in society and science communication, and promoting the involvement of citizens and end-users in co-design and co-creation processes;

(p)  accelerating industrial transformation, including through improved skills for innovation;

(r)  stimulating R&I activities in SMEs and the creation and scale-up of innovative companies, in particular start-ups, SMEs, and in exceptional cases small mid-caps;

(t)  improving access to risk finance, including through synergies with InvestEU, in particular where the market does not provide viable financing.

3.  Within the objectives referred to in paragraph 2, account may be taken of new and unforeseen needs that arise during the period of implementation of the Specific Programme. That may, if duly justified, include responses to emerging opportunities, crises and threats, as well as responses to needs relating to the development of new Union policies.

Article 3

Structure

1.  In accordance with Article 4(1) of Regulation … FP/RfP Regulation, the Specific Programme shall consist of the following parts:

(1)  Pillar I 'Excellent Science' with the following components:

(a)  the European Research Council (ERC), as described in Annex I, Pillar I, section 1;

(b)  Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), as described in Annex I, Pillar I, section 2;

(c)  research infrastructures, as described in Annex I, Pillar I, section 3;

(2)  Pillar II 'Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness' with the following components:

(a)  cluster 'Health', as described in Annex I, Pillar II, section 1;

(b)  cluster 'Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society', as described in Annex I, Pillar II, section 2;

(c)  cluster 'Civil Security for Society', as described in Annex I, Pillar II, section 3;

(d)  cluster 'Digital, Industry and Space', as described in Annex I, Pillar II, section 4;

(e)  cluster 'Climate, Energy and Mobility', as described in Annex I, Pillar II, section 5;

(f)  cluster ' Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment', as described in Annex I, Pillar II, section 6;

(g)  non-nuclear direct actions of the Joint Research Centre (JRC), as described in Annex I, Pillar II, section 7;

(3)  Pillar III 'Innovative Europe' with the following components:

(a)  the European Innovation Council (EIC), as described in Annex I, Pillar III, section 1;

(b)  European innovation ecosystems, as described in Annex I, Pillar III, section 2.

(4)  Part 'Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area' with the following components:

(a)  widening participation and spreading excellence, as described in Annex I, Part 'Strengthening the European Research Area', section 1;

(b)  reforming and enhancing the European R&I system, as described in Annex I, Part 'Strengthening the European Research Area', section 2.

2.  The activities to be carried out under the parts referred to in paragraph 1 are described in Annex I.

Article 4

Budget

1.  In accordance with Article 9(1)of Regulation … FP/RfP Regulation, the financial envelope for the implementation of the Specific Programme for the period 2021 to 2027 shall be EUR 83 397 000 000 in current prices.

1a.  As a result of the programme specific adjustment provided for in Article 5 of Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No XXXX/20XX (the MFF Regulation) the amount referred to in the paragraph 1 shall be increased by an additional allocation of EUR 2 790 000 000 in constant 2018 prices as specified in Annex II to that Regulation.

2.  The amount referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be distributed among the components set out in Article 3(1) of this Decision in accordance with Article 9(2) of Regulation … FP/RfP Regulation. The amount referred to in paragraph 1a of this Article shall be distributed among the components set out in Article 3(1) of this Decision in accordance with Article 9(2b) of Regulation … FP/RfP Regulation. The arrangements of Article 9(3) to (7) of Regulation … FP/RfP Regulation shall apply.

Article 4a

Resources from the European Union Recovery Instrument

1.  In accordance with Article 9a of Regulation [Framework programme Regulation] measures referred to in Article 1(2) of Regulation [ERI] shall be implemented under this Specific Programme through amounts referred to in [point (iv) of Article 2 (2)(a)] of that Regulation [ERI], subject to its Article [3(3), (4), (7) and (9)].(9) These additional amounts shall exclusively be allocated to actions for research and innovation directed at addressing the consequences of the COVID-19, notably its economic, social and societal impact. Priority shall be given to innovative SMEs and special attention needs to be paid to their integration in collaborative projects under Pillar II.

2.  The indicative distribution of the amount referred to in paragraph 1 shall be:

(a)  25% to cluster ‘Health’;

(b)  25% to cluster ‘Digital, Industry and Space’;

(c)  25% to cluster ‘Climate, Energy and Mobility’;

(d)  25% to the European Innovation Council.

CHAPTER II

IMPLEMENTATION AND PROGRAMMING

Article 4a

Strategic Plan

1.  In accordance with Article 6 paragraph 6 of the [Framework Programme Regulation], the implementation of the Specific Programme shall be facilitated by a multiannual Strategic Plan of research and innovation activities, also promoting consistency between the work programmes, EU priorities and national priorities. The result of the Strategic Planning Process shall be set out in a multiannual Strategic Plan, for preparing the content in the work programmes (as set out in Article 11) covering a maximum period of four years, while retaining sufficient flexibility to respond rapidly to new and emerging challenges, unexpected opportunities and crises.

2.  The Strategic Planning Process shall focus in particular on the 'Global challenges and European industrial competitiveness' pillar and cover also relevant activities in other pillars and the Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area part.

The Commission shall ensure early involvement and extensive exchanges with the Member States, and extensive exchanges with the European Parliament, complemented by consultation with stakeholders and the public at large. This will contribute to a stronger engagement with citizens and civil society.

Member States may support the strategic planning process also through providing an overview of national consultations/citizens' contributions that feed into the Strategic Plan.

3.  The Strategic Plan shall be adopted by the Commission, by means of an implementing act, in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 12(4). The Strategic Plan shall correspond to the objectives and activities described in Annex 1. This Implementing Act shall contain the following elements, relating to the period covered:

a.  Key strategic orientations for R&I support, including a description of expected impacts, cross-cluster issues and intervention areas covered.

b.  Identification of European Partnerships according to Article 8(1)(a and b) of the [FP Regulation].

ba.  Identification of Missions according to Article 5 of the Specific Programme and Article 7 and Annex Va of the Regulation establishing Horizon Europe.

c.  Areas for international cooperation, actions to be aligned with Research & Innovation of other nations and regions of the world at major scale, or actions to be carried out in cooperation with organisations in third countries.

d.  Specific issues, such as the balance between research and innovation; the integration of Social Sciences and Humanities; the role of Key Enabling Technologies and strategic value chains; gender equality, including the integration of gender dimension in the R&I content; adherence to the highest ethics and integrity standards; priorities for dissemination and exploitation.

4.  The Strategic Plan shall take into account an analysis covering at least the following elements:

a)  Political, socio-economic and environmental drivers which are relevant for the EU and Member States' policy priorities.

b)  The contribution of research and innovation to the realisation of EU policy objectives, while capitalizing on studies, other scientific evidence and relevant initiatives at EU and national level, including institutionalised partnerships according to article 8(1)(c)of the [Framework Programme Regulation].

c)  Evidence-base resulting from foresight activities, S&T and innovation indicators, international developments such as the implementation of the SDGs and feedback from implementation, including monitoring the implementation of specific measures with regard to widening participation and sharing excellence and participation of SMEs.

d)  Priorities with the potential to be implemented in synergy with other EU programmes.

e)  A description of the various approaches for stakeholder consultation and citizen engagement as part of the work to develop Work Programmes;

f)  Complementarity and synergies with planning of the KICs of the EIT in accordance with Regulation 294/2008/EC.

5.  The strategic planning process shall be complemented by a strategic coordinating process for European Partnerships, with participation of Member States and the Commission on equal footing. It shall function as an entry point for foresight analysis, analysis and advice on the portfolio development, possible setup, implementation, monitoring and phasing out of R&I partnerships and be guided by a comprehensive criteria framework, based on Annex III of the Horizon Europe Regulation.

Article 5

Missions

1.  Research and Innovation Missions may be established in the mission areas identified in Annex Va of the Regulation establishing Horizon Europe.

2.  For each mission area, a mission board shall be established, unless existing advisory structures can be used, in which case the Programme Committee shall be informed in advance. The mission board shall be composed of a maximum of 15 independent high level individuals with broad expertise, including where appropriate SSH experts, from across Europe and beyond, including relevant end-users' representatives. The members of the mission boards shall be appointed by the Commission, following a transparent procedure for their identification, including an open call for expressions of interest. The Programme Committee shall be consulted on the identification and selection procedures, including the criteria used, in a timely manner. The term of office of mission board members shall be up to five years, renewable once.

3.  The mission board shall advise, without having decision-making powers, the Commission upon the following:

(a)  identification and design of one or more missions in the respective mission area according to the provisions and criteria as set out in Article 7 of [Framework Programme Regulation]

(b)  content of work programmes and their revision as needed for achieving the mission objectives, with input from stakeholders and, where relevant, the public;

(c)  characteristics of project portfolios for missions;

(d)  adjustment actions, or termination if appropriate, based on implementation assessments according to the defined objectives of the mission;

(e)  selection of independent expert evaluators following the provisions of Article 44 [of the Framework Programme Regulation], briefing of expert evaluators and evaluation criteria and their weighting;

(f)  framework conditions which help achieve the objectives of the mission;

(g)  communication, including on the performance and the achievements of the mission;

(h)  policy coordination between relevant actors at different levels, in particular regarding synergies with other Union policies;

(i)  key performance indicators.

The advice of the mission boards shall be made public.

4.  For each Mission area, the Programme Committee shall be involved in the preparation and life cycle of the missions, taking into account relevant issues from the national context and opportunities to enhance alignment with activities on national level. Interactions with the mission boards shall take place in a timely and comprehensive manner.

5.  The work programme provided for in Article 11 shall include for each mission identified in the Strategic Plan, the design, the characteristics of their project portfolios and specific provisions to enable an efficient portfolio approach.

Article 6

European Research Council

1.  The Commission shall establish a European Research Council ("ERC"), for implementing the actions under Pillar I 'Excellent Science' which relate to the ERC. The ERC shall succeed the ERC set up by Decision C(2013) 1895(10).

2.  The ERC shall be composed of the independent Scientific Council provided for in Article 7 and the dedicated implementation structure provided for in Article 8.

3.  The ERC shall have a President who shall be chosen from among senior and internationally respected scientists.

The President shall be appointed by the Commission following a transparent recruitment process involving an independent dedicated search committee, for a term of office limited to four years, renewable once. The recruitment process and the candidate selected shall have the approval of the Scientific Council.

The President shall chair the Scientific Council and shall ensure its leadership and liaison with the dedicated implementation structure, and represent it in the world of science.

4.  The ERC shall operate according to its core principles of scientific excellence, open science, autonomy, efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, accountability and research integrity. It shall ensure continuity with ERC actions conducted under Decision …/EC.

5.  The activities of the ERC shall support frontier research, in a bottom-up manner, carried out across all fields by principal investigators and their teams in competition at the European level, including early-stage career researchers.

6.  The Commission shall act as the guarantor of the autonomy and integrity of the ERC and shall ensure the proper execution of the tasks entrusted to it.

The Commission shall ensure that the implementation of the ERC actions is in accordance with the principles set out in paragraph 4 of this Article as well as with the overall strategy for the ERC, referred to in point (a) of Article 7(2), established by the Scientific Council.

Article 7

ERC Scientific Council

1.  The Scientific Council shall be composed of independent scientists, engineers and scholars of the highest repute and appropriate expertise, of both women and men in different age groups, ensuring a diversity of research areas and the variety of geographical origins, and acting in their personal capacity, independent of extraneous interests.

The members of the Scientific Council shall be appointed by the Commission, following an independent and transparent procedure for their identification agreed with the Scientific Council, including an open consultation of the scientific community and a report to the European Parliament and the Council.

Their term of office shall be limited to four years, renewable once, on the basis of a rotating system which shall ensure the continuity of the work of the Scientific Council.

2.  The Scientific Council shall establish:

(a)  the overall strategy for the ERC;

(b)  the work programme for the implementation of the ERC activities;

(c)  the methods and procedures for peer review and proposal evaluation on the basis of which the proposals to be funded are determined;

(d)  its position on any matter which from a scientific perspective may enhance achievements and impact of the ERC and the quality of the research carried out;

(e)  a code of conduct addressing, inter alia, the avoidance of conflict of interests.

The Commission shall depart from the positions established by the Scientific Council in accordance with points (a), (c), (d), and (e) of the first subparagraph only when it considers that the provisions of this Decision have not been respected. In that case, the Commission shall adopt measures to maintain continuity in the implementation of the specific programme and the achievements of its objectives, setting out the points of departure from the Scientific Council positions and duly motivating them.

3.  The Scientific Council shall act in accordance with the mandate set out in Pillar I of Annex I, section 1.

4.  The Scientific Council shall act exclusively in the interest of the ERC, according to the principles set out in Article 6. It shall act with integrity and probity and carry out its work efficiently and with the greatest possible transparency.

Article 8

Dedicated ERC implementation structure

1.  The dedicated implementation structure shall be responsible for the administrative implementation and programme execution, as described in Pillar I of Annex I, section 1.3.2. It shall support the Scientific Council in the conduct of all of its tasks.

2.  The Commission shall ensure that the dedicated implementation structure follows strictly, efficiently and with the necessary flexibility the objectives and requirements of the ERC alone.

Article 9

European Innovation Council

1.  The EIC, as established according to Article 7a of the [Framework Programme Regulation] shall include the High Level Board ("EIC Board") provided for in Article 10.

2.  The Commission shall ensure that the implementation of the EIC:

(a)  is in accordance with the principles set out in paragraph 1 of this Article, taking due account of the opinion of the EIC Board on the overall strategy for the EIC, referred to Article 10(1)(a); and

(b)  does not lead to distortions of competition contrary to the common interest.

3.  For the purpose of managing EIC blended finance, the Commission shall make use of indirect management, or where this is not possible, may establish a special purpose vehicle, to be managed according to the applicable accountability rules. The Commission shall seek to ensure the participation of other public and private investors. Where this is not possible at the initial set up, the special purpose vehicle will be structured in such a way that it can attract other public or private investors in order to increase the leverage effect of the Union contribution.

4.  The Commission shall ensure effective complementarities between the EIC, the EIT and InvestEU.

Article 10

The EIC Board

1.  The EIC Board shall advise the Commission upon:

(a)  the overall strategy for the EIC component under Pillar III 'Innovative Europe';

(b)  the work programme for the implementation of the EIC actions;

(c)  the criteria for assessment of the innovativeness and risk profile of the proposals and the appropriate balance of grants, equity and other forms of financing for the EIC accelerator;

(d)  the identification of strategic portfolio of projects;

(e)  the profile of programme managers.

2.  The EIC Board may upon request address recommendations to the Commission on:

(a)  any matter which from an innovation perspective may enhance and foster innovation eco-systems across Europe, the achievements and impact of the objectives of the EIC component and the capacity of innovative firms to roll out their solutions;

(b)  identifying in cooperation with relevant Commission services and, where appropriate, national and regional authorities and other relevant entities, such as the EIT Governing Board, possible regulatory barriers faced by entrepreneurs, in particular those awarded support under the EIC component;

(c)  emerging technology trends from EIC's portfolio, to inform the programming in other parts of the Specific Programme;

(d)  identifying specific issues where advice from the EIC Board is needed.

The EIC Board shall act in the interest of achieving the objectives of the EIC component. It shall act with integrity and probity and carry out its work efficiently and with transparency.

The EIC Board shall act in accordance with its mandate set out in Pillar III of Annex I, section 1.

3.  The EIC Board shall be composed of 15 to 20 independent high level individuals drawn from various parts of Europe's innovation ecosystem, including entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, investors, public administration experts and researchers, including academic experts on innovation. It shall contribute to outreach actions, with EIC Board members striving to enhance the prestige of the EIC brand.

The members of the EIC Board shall be appointed by the Commission, following an open call for nominations or for expression of interests or both, whichever the Commission will find more appropriate, and taking into account the need for balance in expertise, gender, age and geographical distribution.

Their term of office shall be limited to two years, renewable twice, with a rolling appointments system (members appointed every two years).

4.  The EIC Board shall have a President who shall be appointed by the Commission following a transparent recruitment process. The President shall be a high profile public figure linked to the innovation world, with a solid understanding of R&D.

The President shall be appointed for a term of office limited to four years, renewable once.

The President shall chair the EIC Board, prepare its meetings, assign tasks to members, and may establish dedicated sub-groups, in particular to identify emerging technology trends from EIC's portfolio. He or she shall represent the EIC in the world of innovation. He or she shall also promote the EIC, act as interlocutor with the Commission, through the relevant programme committees, with Member States. The Commission will provide for administrative support for the President to undertake his or her duties.

5.  A code of conduct addressing, inter alia, the avoidance of conflict of interests and breach of confidentiality shall be established by the Commission. Members of the EIC Board will accept the code of conduct upon assuming office.

Article 11

Work programmes

1.  The Programme shall be implemented by the work programmes referred to in paragraph 2 in accordance with Article 110 of Financial Regulation. They shall set out the expected impact and be prepared following a strategic planning process as described in Annex I to this Decision. The Commission shall regularly and from an early stage inform the Committee referred to in Article 12 of the overall progress of the implementation of the indirect actions of the specific programme, including missions, also to allow the Committee to provide early appropriate input in the course of the strategic planning process and on the preparation of the work programmes, especially on missions.

Work programmes shall set out, where applicable, the overall amount reserved for blending operations.

2.  The Commission shall adopt separate work programmes, by means of implementing acts, for the implementation of actions under the following components, as set out in Article 3(1) of this Decision :

(a)  the ERC, where the work programme shall be established by the Scientific Council under point (b) of Article 7(2), in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 12(3). The Commission shall depart from the work programme established by the Scientific Council only when it considers that it is not in accordance with the provisions of this Decision. In that case, the Commission shall adopt the work programme by means of an implementing act in in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 12(4). The Commission shall duly motivate this measure;

(b)  all clusters under the pillar 'Global Challenges and Competitiveness of European Industry', MSCA, research infrastructures, support to innovation ecosystems, widening participation and spreading excellence, and reforming and enhancing the European R&I System, in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 12(4);

(c)  the EIC, where the work programme shall be prepared following the advice of the EIC Board under point (b) of Article 10(1), in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 12(4);

(d)  the JRC, where the multi-annual work programme shall take into account the opinion provided by the Board of Governors of the JRC referred to in Decision 96/282/Euratom.

3.  In addition to requirement in Article 110 of the Financial Regulation, the work programmes referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article shall, as appropriate, contain:

(a)  an indication of the amount allocated to each action and mission and an indicative implementation timetable;

(b)  for grants the priorities, the selection and award criteria and the relative weight of the different award criteria and the maximum rate of funding of the total eligible costs;

(c)  the amount allocated to blended finance in accordance with Articles 41 to 43 of Regulation … FP/RfP Regulation:

(d)  any additional obligations for beneficiaries, in accordance with Articles 35 and 37 of the FP/RfP Regulation.

4.  The Commission shall adopt, by means of implementing acts, in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 12(4) the following measures:

(a)  the decision on the approval of the funding of indirect actions, where the estimated amount of the Union contribution under the specific programme is equal to or more than EUR 2,5 million, with the exception of actions under the specific objective "European Research Council (ERC)"; for funding of indirect actions in cluster 2 the decision on the approval of the funding of indirect actions, where the estimated amount of the Union contribution under the Specific Programme is equal to or more than EUR 1 million;

(b)  the decision on the approval of the funding of actions involving the use of human embryos and human embryonic stem cells and of actions under the cluster "Civil Security for Society" referred to in Article 3(1)(2)(c).

Article 12

Committee procedure

1.  The Commission shall be assisted by a committee(11). That committee shall be a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

2.  The committee shall meet in different configurations as set out in Annex II, having regard to the subject matter to be discussed.

3.  Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 4 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

4.  Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.

5.  Where the opinion of the committee is to be obtained by written procedure, that procedure shall be terminated without result when, within the time-limit for delivery of the opinion, the chair of the committee so decides or a simple majority of committee members so request.

6.  In the case of the implementing acts to be adopted under Article 4a(3) where the Committee delivers no opinion, the Commission shall not adopt the draft implementing act and the third subparagraph of Article 5(4) of Regulation (EU) 182/2011 shall apply.

7.  The Commission shall regularly inform the Committee of the overall progress of the implementation of the specific programme and shall provide it with timely information on all actions and components proposed or funded under Horizon Europe and its externalised parts, as specified in Annex III, including detailed information/analysis of the statistics of the individual calls.

CHAPTER III

TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 13

Repeal

Decision 2013/743/EU is repealed with effect from 1 January 2021.

Article 14

Transitional provisions

1.  This Decision shall not affect the continuation or modification of the actions concerned, until their closure, under Decision 2013/743/EU, which shall continue to apply to the actions concerned until their closure.

Where necessary, any remaining tasks of the Committee established by Decision 2013/743/EU shall be undertaken by the Committee referred to in Article 12 of this Decision.

2.  The financial envelope for the Specific Programme may also cover technical and administrative assistance expenses necessary to ensure the transition between the Specific Programme and the measures adopted under its predecessor Decision 2013/743/EU.

Article 15

Entry into force

This Decision shall enter into force on the day of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

It shall apply from 1 January 2021.

This Decision is addressed to the Member States.

Done at Brussels,

For the Council

The President

ANNEX I

STRATEGIC PLANNING AND PROGRAMME ACTIVITIES

The following shall apply in the implementation of the Programme.

Strategic Planning

As laid down in Article 4 a, the implementation of the Specific Programme shall be facilitated by a multiannual strategic planning for research and innovation activities. The strategic planning process shall focus in particular on the Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness pillar, including relevant activities in other pillars and the Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area part, also in close coordination and synergy with the planning of the KICs of the EIT established by Regulation 294/2008/EC.

The result of the Strategic Planning Process shall be set out in a Strategic Plan for realising content in the work programme.

The Strategic Planning process aims to:

–  implement Horizon Europe's programme-level objectives in an integrated manner and provide focus on impact for the Programme overall and coherence between its different pillars.

–  promote synergies between Horizon Europe and other Union Programmes, including the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund+ (ESF+), the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Euratom programme, thus becoming a point of reference for research and innovation in all related programmes across the EU budget and non-funding instruments.

–  help to develop and realise EU policy for the relevant areas covered, and complement policy development and implementation in the Member States.

–  reduce fragmentation of efforts and avoid duplication and overlaps between funding possibilities.

–  provide the frame for linking the direct research actions of the Joint Research Centre and other actions supported under the Programme, including the use of results and data for support to policy.

–  ensure a balanced and broad approach to research and innovation, at all stages of development, which is not only limited to fostering frontier research, the development of new products processes and services on the basis of scientific and technological knowledge and breakthroughs, but also incorporates the use of existing technologies in novel applications and continuous improvement and non-technological and social innovation.

–  ensure a systemic, cross-disciplinary, cross-sectoral and cross-policy approach to research and innovation in order to tackle challenges while also giving rise to new competitive businesses and industries, fostering competition, stimulating private investments and preserving the level playing field in the internal market.

OTHER PROGRAMME ACTIVITIES

In the 'Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness' and the 'Innovative Europe' Pillars, research and innovation shall be complemented with activities which operate close to the end-users and the market, such as demonstration, piloting or proof-of-concept, excluding however commercialisation activities going beyond the research and innovation phase. This shall also include support to demand-side activities that help accelerate the deployment and diffusion of a broad range of innovations. Emphasis shall be put on non-prescriptive calls for proposals.

Under the 'Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness' pillar, building on experience in Horizon 2020, the social sciences and the humanities shall be fully integrated across all clusters, including specific and dedicated activities. Likewise, activities involving marine and maritime research and innovation shall be implemented in a strategic and integrated manner in line with the EU Integrated Maritime Policy, the Common Fisheries Policy and international commitments.

Activities carried out within the FET Flagships on Graphene, the Human Brain Project and Quantum Technology, which are supported under Horizon 2020, will continue being supported under Horizon Europe through calls for proposals included in the work programme. Preparatory actions supported under the FET Flagships part of Horizon 2020 will feed the Strategic Planning process under Horizon Europe and inform the work on missions, co-funded/co-programmed partnerships and regular calls for proposals.

Science and Technology Cooperation dialogues with the EU's international partners and policy dialogues with the main world regions shall make important contributions to the systematic identification of opportunities for cooperation which, when combined with differentiation by country/region, shall support priority setting. Early advice from the ERA-related advisory structure will continue to be sought.

Dissemination and Communication

Horizon Europe will provide dedicated support for open access to scientific publications, to knowledge repositories and other data sources. Dissemination and knowledge diffusion actions will be supported, also from cooperation with other EU programmes, including clustering and packaging results and data in languages and formats for target audiences and networks for citizens, industry, public administrations, academia, civil society organisations, and policy makers. For this purpose, Horizon Europe may make use of advanced technologies and intelligence tools.

There will be appropriate support for mechanisms to communicate the programme to potential applicants (e.g. National Contact Points).

The Commission will also implement information and communication activities relating to Horizon Europe, to promote the fact that results were obtained with the support of EU funding. They will also seek to raise public awareness on the importance of research and innovation and the broader impact and relevance of EU funded research and innovation, by means of e.g. publications, media relations, events, knowledge repositories, databases, multi-channel platforms, websites or a targeted use of social media. Horizon Europe will also provide support to the beneficiaries to communicate their work and its impact to society at large.

Exploitation and Market Uptake

The Commission will establish comprehensive measures for exploitation of Horizon Europe results and the knowledge produced. This will accelerate exploitation towards wide market uptake and boost the impact of the Programme.

The Commission will systematically identify and record the results of the research and innovation activities under the Programme and transfer or disseminate these results and knowledge produced in a non-discriminatory fashion to industry and enterprises of all sizes, public administrations, academia, civil society organisations and policy-makers, in order to maximise the European added value of the Programme.

International Cooperation

Greater impact will be obtained through aligning actions with other countries and regions of the world within strengthened international cooperation efforts. Based on mutual benefit, partners from across the world will be invited to join EU efforts as an integral part of initiatives in support of EU action for sustainability, reinforced research and innovation excellence, and competitiveness.

International joint action will ensure effective tackling of global societal challenges and Sustainable Development Goals, access to the world's best talents, expertise and resources, and enhanced supply and demand of innovative solutions.

Working Methodologies for Evaluation

The use of high quality independent expertise in the evaluation process underpins the engagement of the programme across all stakeholders, communities and interests, and is a prerequisite for maintaining the excellence and relevance of the funded activities.

The Commission or funding body will ensure the impartiality of the process, and avoid conflicts of interest in line with Article 61 of the Financial Regulation. It shall also seek geographical diversity in the composition of evaluation committees, expert and advisory groups.

Exceptionally, when justified by the requirement to appoint the best available experts and/or by the limited size of the pool of qualified experts, independent experts assisting or being members of the evaluation committee may evaluate specific proposals for which they declare a potential interest. In this case, the Commission or funding body shall take all necessary remedial measures to ensure the integrity of the evaluation process. The evaluation process will be managed accordingly, including a stage involving an interaction between diverse experts. The evaluation committee will take into account the particular circumstances when identifying proposals for funding.

PILLAR I

EXCELLENT SCIENCE

The scientific, economic, social and cultural progress in all its forms depends on an adequate supply of excellent researchers; the search for breakthroughs in understanding and the acquisition of knowledge at all levels; the world class facilities needed to achieve this including physical and knowledge infrastructures for research and innovation as well as the means to openly disseminate and share knowledge (open science), methodologies and skills.

The achievement of world leading innovation is linked to the advancements of open and excellent science. Scientific and technological paradigm shifts, can be key drivers for productivity growth, competitiveness, wealth, sustainable development and social progress. Such paradigm shifts have historically tended to originate from the public-sector science base before going on to lay the foundations for whole new industries and sectors and for comprehensive societal progress.

Public investment in research, especially through universities and public research institutions (PRIs) and research facilities, often undertakes the longer-term, higher-risk research and complements the activities of the private sector. Besides this, it creates highly skilled human resources, knowhow and experience, new scientific instruments and methodologies, as well creating the networks which transmit the latest knowledge.

European science and European-based researchers have been and continue to be at the forefront in many areas. But this is not a position we can take for granted. The traditional challenge from countries such as the United States is now being joined by economic giants such as China and India, from the newly industrialising parts of the world in particular, and from all countries where governments recognise the manifold and abundant returns which derive from investing in research.

1.  EUROPEAN RESEARCH COUNCIL (ERC)

1.1.  Rationale

Although the EU remains the largest producer of scientific publications in the world, it has, relative to its size, comparatively few centres of excellence that standout at the world level and with large areas of average and poor performance. Compared with the US and now China to some degree, the EU follows a 'distributed excellence model' in which resources are spread across a larger number of researchers and research institutions. Creating attractive conditions for the best researchers will help Europe to raise its attractiveness in the global competition for scientific talent.

The global research landscape is evolving dramatically and becoming increasingly multipolar as a result of a growing number of emerging countries, in particular China, expanding their scientific production. So whereas the EU and the United States accounted for nearly two-thirds of world expenditure on research and development in 2000, this share had fallen to less than half by 2013.

The ERC supports the best researchers, including talented researchers who are at an early stage of their career, with flexible, long-term funding to pursue ground breaking, high-gain/high-risk research primarily in Europe. It operates autonomously led by an independent Scientific Council made up of scientists, engineers and scholars of the highest repute and appropriate expertise and diversity. The ERC is able to draw on a wider pool of talents and ideas than would be possible for any national scheme, reinforcing excellence through the way in which the best researchers and the best ideas compete against each other.

Frontier research funded by the ERC has a proven substantial direct impact in the form of advances at the frontiers of knowledge, opening the way to new and often unexpected scientific and technological results and new areas for research. In turn, this generates radically new ideas which drive innovation and business inventiveness and tackle societal challenges. The ERC also has a significant structural impact, driving up the quality of the European research system over and above the researchers and actions it funds directly. ERC-funded actions and researchers set an inspirational target for frontier research in Europe, raising its profile and making it more attractive for the best researchers worldwide as a place to work, and work with. The prestige of hosting ERC grant- holders creates competition between Europe's universities and research organisations to offer the most attractive conditions for top researchers and can indirectly help them to assess their relative strengths and weaknesses and bring about reforms.

The ERC funds a relatively small percentage of all European research, but from this achieves a high scientific impact. The average citation impact of the research supported by the ERC is comparable to that of the world’s top elite research universities. The ERC’s research performance is extremely high when compared with the world’s largest research funders. The ERC funds a great deal of frontier research in many of the research areas that have received the highest numbers of citations, including those areas that are rapidly emerging. Although ERC funding is targeted to frontier research it has resulted in a substantial number of patents.

So there is clear evidence that the ERC attracts and funds excellent researchers through its calls and ERC actions are producing a substantial number of the most significant and high impact research findings worldwide in emerging areas leading to breakthroughs and major advances. The work of ERC grantees is also highly interdisciplinary and ERC grantees collaborate internationally and publish their results openly across all fields of research including the social sciences, research on the arts and the humanities.

There is also already evidence of the longer term impacts of ERC grants on careers, on training highly skilled recognised researchers and holders of doctoral degrees, on raising the global visibility and prestige of European research and on national research systems through its strong benchmarking effect. This effect is particularly valuable in the EU's distributed excellence model because ERC funded status can replace and serve as a more accurate indicator of research quality than recognition based on the status of institutions. This allows ambitious individuals, institutions, regions and countries to seize the initiative and scale up the research profiles in which they are particularly strong.

1.2.  Areas of intervention

1.2.1.  Frontier Science

Research funded by the ERC is expected to lead to advances at the frontier of knowledge, with scientific publications of the highest quality to achieve research results with high societal and economic potential impact and with the ERC setting a clear and inspirational target for frontier research across the EU, Europe and internationally. Aiming to make the EU a more attractive environment for the world's best scientists, the ERC will target a measurable improvement in the EU's share of the world's top 1 % most highly cited publications, and aim to increase in the number of excellent researchers including from outside Europe which it funds.

ERC funding shall be awarded in accordance with the following well-established principles. Scientific excellence shall be the sole criterion on which ERC grants are awarded. The ERC shall operate on a 'bottom-up' basis without predetermined priorities.

Broad Lines

–  Long-term funding to support excellent ideas of investigators of any age and gender, from any country in the world, and their research teams to pursue ground-breaking, high-gain/high-risk research;

–  Enabling starting and early-stage career researchers with excellent ideas to make the transition to being independent research leaders in their own right by providing adequate support at the critical stage when they are setting up or consolidating their own research team or programme;

–  New ways of working in the scientific world, including the open science approach, with the potential to create breakthrough results and facilitate commercial and social innovation potential of funded research;

–  Sharing experience and best practices with regional and national research funding agencies and building links to other parts of the Framework Programme, in particular the MSCA, to promote the support of excellent researchers;

–  Raising the profile of frontier research in Europe and the visibility of ERC programmes to researchers across Europe and internationally.

1.3.  Implementation

1.3.1.  The Scientific Council

The Scientific Council is the guarantor of the quality of the activity from the scientific perspective and has full authority over decisions on the type of research to be funded.

In the context of the implementation of the framework programme and in order to carry out its tasks, as set out in Article 7, the Scientific Council will:

(1)  Scientific strategy:

–  establish the overall scientific strategy for the ERC, in the light of scientific opportunities and European scientific needs;

–  establish the work programme and develop the ERC's mix of support measures in line with its scientific strategy;

–  establish the necessary international cooperation initiatives including outreach activities, to increase the visibility of the ERC for the best researchers from the rest of the world, in line with its scientific strategy.

(2)  Scientific management, monitoring and quality control:

–  ensure a world-class peer review system based on scientific excellence and on fully transparent, fair and impartial treatment of proposals by establishing positions on implementation and management of calls for proposals, evaluation criteria, peer review processes including the selection of experts, the methods for peer review and proposal evaluation and the necessary implementing rules and guidelines, on the basis of which the proposals to be funded will be determined under the supervision of the Scientific Council;

–  experts shall be appointed on the basis of a proposal from the ERC Scientific Council in the case of ERC frontier research actions;

–  ensure that ERC grants are implemented according to simple, transparent procedures that maintain the focus on excellence, encourage initiative and combine flexibility with accountability by continuously monitoring the quality of the operations and implementation;

–  review and assess the ERC's achievements and the quality and impact of the research funded by the ERC and, accordingly, make recommendations and guidelines for corrective or future actions;

–  establish positions on any other matter affecting the achievements and impact of the ERC's activities and the quality of the research carried out.

(3)  Communication and dissemination:

–  raise the global profile and visibility of the ERC by conducting communication and outreach activities including scientific conferences to promote the ERC's activities and achievements and the results of the projects funded by the ERC with the scientific community, key stakeholders and the general public;

–  where appropriate, consult with the scientific, engineering and scholarly community, regional and national research funding agencies and other stakeholders.

–  regularly report to the Commission on its own activities.

The members of the Scientific Council shall be compensated for the tasks they perform by means of an honorarium and, where appropriate, reimbursement of travel and subsistence expenses.

The President of the ERC will reside in Brussels for the duration of the appointment and devote most of his/her working time(12) to ERC business. He/she will be remunerated at a level commensurate with the Commission's top management and will be provided by the Dedicated Implementation Structure with the necessary support to carry out his or her functions.

The Scientific Council shall elect from amongst its members three Vice-Chairs who shall assist the President in its representation and the organisation of its work. They may also hold the title of Vice-President of the ERC.

Support will be provided to the three Vice-Chairs to ensure adequate local administrative assistance at their home institutes.

1.3.2.  Dedicated Implementation Structure

The dedicated implementation structure will be responsible for all aspects of administrative implementation and programme execution, as provided for in the ERC work programme. It will, in particular, implement the evaluation procedures, peer review and selection process in accordance with the strategy established by the Scientific Council and will ensure the financial and scientific management of the grants. The dedicated implementation structure will support the Scientific Council in the conduct of all of its tasks as set out above including the development of its scientific strategy, its monitoring of the operations and its review and assessment of the ERC's achievements as well as its outreach and communications activities, provide access to the necessary documents and data in its possession, and keep the Scientific Council informed of its activities.

In order to ensure an effective liaison with the dedicated implementation structure on strategy and operational matters, the leadership of the Scientific Council and the Director of the dedicated implementation structure will hold regular coordination meetings.

The management of the ERC will be carried out by staff recruited for that purpose, including, where necessary, officials from the EU institutions, and will cover only the real administrative needs in order to assure the stability and continuity necessary for an effective administration.

1.3.3.  Role of the Commission

In order to fulfil its responsibilities as set out in Articles 6, 7 and 8 and in the context of its own responsibilities for budget execution, the Commission will:

–  ensure the continuity and renewal of the Scientific Council and provide support for a standing Identification Committee for the identification of future Scientific Council members;

–  ensure the continuity of the dedicated implementation structure and the delegation of tasks and responsibilities to it taking into account the views of the Scientific Council;

–  ensure that the dedicated implementation structure carries out the full range of its tasks and responsibilities;

–  appoint the Director and the members of the management of the dedicated implementation structure taking into account the views of the Scientific Council;

–  ensure the timely adoption of the work programme, the positions regarding implementing methodology and the necessary implementing rules including the ERC Rules of Submission and the ERC Model Grant Agreement, taking into account the positions of the Scientific Council;

–  regularly and in a timely manner inform and consult the Programme Committee on the implementation of the ERC activities;

–  as responsible for the overall implementation of the Research Framework Programme, monitor the dedicated implementation structure and evaluate its performance.

2.  MARIE SKŁODOWSKA-CURIE ACTIONS (MSCA)

2.1.  Rationale

Europe needs a highly-skilled and resilient human capital base in research and innovation that can easily adapt to and find sustainable solutions for current and future challenges, such as major demographic changes in Europe. To ensure excellence, researchers need to be mobile, collaborate and diffuse knowledge across countries, sectors and disciplines, with the right combination of knowledge and skills to tackle societal challenges and support innovation.

Europe is a scientific powerhouse with around 1.8 million researchers working in thousands of universities, research centres and companies. However, it is estimated that the EU will need to train and employ at least one million new researchers by 2027 in order to achieve the targets beings set for increased investment in research and innovation. This need is particularly acute beyond the academic sector (such as in industry and business, including SMEs, government, civil society organisations, cultural institutions, hospitals etc.) and requires collaboration between the different sectors to provide adequately trained new researchers. The EU must reinforce its efforts to entice more young women and men to a career in research, be more inclusive and promote better work/family life balance, attract researchers from third countries, retain its own researchers and reintegrate European researchers working elsewhere back to Europe. In addition, in order to more widely spread excellence, the conditions under which researchers perform must be further improved throughout the European Research Area (ERA). In this respect, stronger links are needed notably with the European Education Area (EEdA), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and European Social Fund (ESF+).

These challenges can best be addressed at EU level due to their systemic nature and to the cross-country effort needed to solve them.)

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) focus on excellent research that is fully bottom-up, open to any field of research and innovation from basic research up to market take-up and innovation services. This includes research fields covered under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). If specific needs arise and additional funding sources become available, the MSCA may seek links to certain activities in specific challenges (incl. identified missions), types of research and innovation institutions, or geographical locations in order to respond to the evolution of Europe's requirements in terms of skills, research training, career development and knowledge sharing.

The MSCA are the main instrument at EU-level for attracting researchers from third countries to Europe, thus making a major contribution to global cooperation in research and innovation. Evidence shows that the MSCA not only have a positive impact on individuals, organisations, and at system level, but also yield high-impact and breakthrough research results while at the same time contributing significantly to societal as well as strategic challenges. Long-term investment in people pays off, as indicated by the number of Nobel Prize winners who have been either former MSCA fellows or supervisors.

Through global research competition between scientists and between host organisations from both the academic and non-academic sector, and through the creation and sharing of high-quality knowledge across countries, sectors and disciplines, the MSCA contribute notably to the goals of the 'Jobs, growth and investment' agenda, the EU Global Strategy and to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The MSCA contribute to making the ERA more effective, competitive and attractive on a global scale. This is achieved by focusing on a new generation of highly-skilled researchers and providing support for emerging talent from across the EU and beyond including fostering their transition to other components of the programme, such as ERC and EIT; by fostering the diffusion and application of new knowledge and ideas to European policies, the economy and society, inter alia through improved science communication and public outreach measures; by facilitating cooperation between research-performing organisations and by publishing following the principles of open science and FAIR data; and by having a pronounced structuring impact on the ERA, advocating an open labour market and setting standards for quality training, attractive employment conditions and open, transparent and merit-based recruitment for all researchers in line with the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

2.2.  Areas of Intervention

2.2.1.  Nurturing Excellence through Mobility of Researchers across Borders, Sectors and Disciplines

The EU must remain a reference point for excellent research and thus attractive for the most promising researchers, European and non-European alike, at all stages of their careers. This can be achieved by enabling researchers and research-related staff to move and collaborate between countries, sectors and disciplines and thus benefit from high-quality training and career opportunities. This will facilitate career moves between academia and other sectors as well as stimulate entrepreneurial activity.

Broad Lines

–  Mobility experiences within or outside Europe for the best or most promising researchers regardless of nationality to undertake excellent research and develop their skills as well as career and broaden their network in academia and other sectors (including research infrastructures).

2.2.2.  Fostering new Skills through Excellent Training of Researchers

The EU needs a strong, resilient and creative human resource base, with the right combination of skills to match the future needs of the labour market, to innovate and to convert knowledge and ideas into products and services for economic and social benefit. This can be achieved through training researchers to further develop their core research competences as well as enhance their transferable skills such as a creative, responsible, open-to-society and entrepreneurial mindset and awareness of sustainable development. This will allow them to face current and future global challenges, and improve their career prospects and innovation potential.

Broad Lines

–  Training programmes to equip researchers with a diversity of skills relevant to current and future global challenges.

2.2.3.  Strengthening Human Resources and Skills Development across the European Research Area

In order to foster excellence, promote cooperation between research-performing organisations and create a positive structuring effect, high-quality training and mentoring standards, good working conditions and effective career development of researchers need to be introduced across the ERA. If appropriate and justified by a study, support for researchers to return to their country of origin within and to the Union shall be provided within the context of the existing broad lines. This will help modernise or enhance research training programmes and systems as well as increasing institutions' attractiveness worldwide.

Broad Lines

–  Training programmes to foster excellence and spread best practices across institutions, research infrastructures and research and innovation systems;

–  Inter- and transdisciplinary cooperation, production and diffusion of knowledge within the EU and with third countries;

2.2.4.  Improving and Facilitating Synergies

Synergies between research and innovation systems and programmes at EU, regional and national level need to be further developed. This can be achieved in particular through synergies, complementarities with other parts of Horizon Europe such as the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and other EU programmes, notably Erasmus and the ESF+, including via a Seal of Excellence.

Broad Lines

–  Training programmes and similar research career development initiatives supported through complementary public or private funding sources at regional, national or EU level.

2.2.5.  Promoting Public Outreach

The awareness of the programme’s activities and the public recognition of researchers need to be enhanced across the EU and beyond, to raise the global profile of the MSCA and to develop a better understanding of the impact of researchers’ work on citizens’ daily lives, and to encourage young people to embark on research careers. This can be achieved by working according to the open science principle which leads to better dissemination, exploitation and diffusion of knowledge and practices. Citizen science could play a valuable role as well.

Broad Lines

–  Public outreach initiatives to stimulate interest in research careers, especially amongst young people of all backgrounds;

–  Promotion activities to raise the global profile, visibility and awareness of the MSCA;

–  Diffusion and clustering of knowledge through cross-project collaboration, national contact points (NCP) projects and other networking activities such as an alumni service.

3.  RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURES

3.1.  Rationale

State of the art research infrastructures provide key services to research and innovation communities, playing an essential role in extending the frontiers of knowledge and laying the basis for research and innovation contributions to tackle the global challenges and industrial competitiveness. Supporting research infrastructures at the EU level helps to mitigate what in many cases is the reality of scattered national and regional research infrastructures and pockets of scientific excellence, and so strengthening the ERA as well as increasing the circulation of knowledge across silos. Scientific progress is increasingly dependent on the collaborations of research infrastructures and industry that develop the necessary instruments based on new key enabling technologies and other new technologies.

The overall aim is to endow Europe with world-class sustainable research infrastructures open and accessible to all researchers in Europe and beyond, which fully exploit their potential for scientific advance and innovation. Key objectives are to reduce the fragmentation of the research and innovation ecosystem, avoiding duplication of effort, and better coordinate the design, development, accessibility and use of research infrastructures, including those financed from ERDF. It is crucial to support open access to research infrastructures for all European researchers as well as, inter alia through the European Open Science Cloud (hereafter 'EOSC'), increased access to digital research resources, specifically stimulating the up-take of open science and open data practises.

It is also important to improve the long-term sustainability of research infrastructures as they are typically operational for several decades and therefore should produce plans to secure continuous and stable support.

Equally, the EU needs to tackle the rapid increase of global competition for talent by attracting third country researchers to work with European world-class research infrastructures. Increasing the competitiveness and innovation capabilities of European industry is also a major objective, supporting key technologies and services relevant for research infrastructures and their users, thus improving the conditions for supply of innovative solutions.

Past framework programmes have made a significant contribution towards the more efficient and effective use of national research infrastructures as well as developed with the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) a coherent and strategy-led approach to policy making on pan-European research infrastructures. This strategic approach has generated clear advantages, including reducing duplication of effort with more efficient overall use of resources, as well as standardising processes and procedures. Research mobility plays an important role in facilitating the use of research infrastructures, therefore synergies with national and European mobility schemes have to be considered.

EU supported activity will provide added value through: consolidating and optimising the existing research infrastructure landscape in Europe alongside efforts to develop new research infrastructures of pan-European importance and impact; ensuring similar sets of research infrastructures work together to address strategic issues affecting user communities; establishing the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) as an effective scalable and sustainable environment for data-driven research; the interconnection of national and regional research and education networks, enhancing and securing high-capacity network infrastructure for massive amounts of data and access to digital resources across borders and domain boundaries; promoting the pan-European coverage of distributed research infrastructures, also to enable cross-country comparison of research data, e.g. in the SSH and environmental fields; fostering the interoperability of research infrastructures; enhancing and reinforcing knowledge transfer and training of high-skilled human resources; fostering the use and where relevant upgrading of existing world-class pan-European research infrastructures across Horizon Europe; overcoming barriers preventing the best research teams from accessing the best research infrastructures services in Europe; fostering the innovation potential of research infrastructures, focused on technology development and co-innovation as well as increased use of research infrastructures by industry.

And the international dimension of EU research infrastructures must be reinforced, fostering stronger cooperation with international counterparts and international participation in European research infrastructures for mutual benefit.

Activities will contribute to different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as: SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being for People; SDG 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy; SDG 9 – Industry Innovation and Infrastructure; SDG 13 – Climate Action.

3.2.  Areas of intervention

3.2.1.  Consolidating and Developing the Landscape of European Research Infrastructures

The establishment, operation and long-term sustainability of research infrastructures identified by ESFRI and other world-class research infrastructures of pan-European relevance is essential for the EU to ensure a leading position in frontier research, training and upskilling of researchers, the creation and use of knowledge and the competitiveness of its industries.

The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) should become an effective and comprehensive delivery channel for research infrastructures services and should provide Europe's research communities with the next generation of data services for harvesting, storing, processing (e.g. analytics, simulation, visualisation services) and sharing big science data according to the FAIR principles. The EOSC should also provide researchers in Europe with access to the majority of data generated and collected by research infrastructures as well as to HPC and exascale resources, including those deployed under the European Data Infrastructure (EDI)(13).

The pan-European research and education network will link together and enable remote access to research infrastructures and research resources, by providing interconnectivity between universities, research institutes and research and innovation communities at EU level as well as international connections to other partner networks worldwide.

Broad Lines

–  The life-cycle of pan-European research infrastructures through the design of new research infrastructures; their preparatory and implementation phase, their early-phase operation in complementarity with other funding sources, in case of the research infrastructures supported by structural funds, as well as the consolidation and optimisation of the research infrastructure ecosystem by streamlining the monitoring practice for ESFRI landmarks and other Pan-European research infrastructures and facilitating service agreements, evolutions, mergers, pan-European coverage or decommissioning of pan-European research infrastructures;

–  The European Open Science Cloud, including: scalability and sustainability of the access channel; in cooperation with the Member States and the associated countries effective federation of European, national, regional and institutional resources; its technical and policy evolution to cope with new research needs and requirements (e.g. usage of sensitive data sets, privacy by design); data inter-operability and compliance with the FAIR principles; and a wide user base;

–  The pan-European research and education network underpinning the EOSC and EDI as well as enabling the delivery of HPC/data services in a cloud based environment capable of coping with extreme large data sets and computational processes.

3.2.2.  Opening, Integrating and Interconnecting Research Infrastructures

The research landscape will be improved through ensuring openness of key international, national and regional research infrastructures for all European researchers and integrating their services when necessary so as to harmonise access conditions, improve and enlarge service provision and encourage common development strategy of high tech components and advanced services through innovation actions.

Broad Lines

–  Networks that bring together national and regional funders of research infrastructures for the co-funding of trans-national access of researchers;

–  Networks of pan-European, national and regional research infrastructures, addressing global challenges for the provision of access to researchers as well as for the harmonisation and improvement of the research infrastructures' services.

3.2.2a.  The innovation potential of European Research Infrastructures and activities for Innovation and Training

To stimulate innovation both in the research infrastructures themselves and in industries, R&D cooperation with industry will be fostered to develop Union capacities and demand for industrial supply in high-tech areas such as scientific instrumentation. In addition, the use of research infrastructures by industry, e.g. as experimental test facilities or knowledge-based centres, will be encouraged. The development and exploitation of research infrastructures will require appropriate skills for their managers, researchers, engineers and technicians, as well as users. For this purpose, Union funding will support the training of staff managing and operating research infrastructures of pan-European interest, the exchange of staff and best practices between facilities, and the adequate supply of human resources in key disciplines, including the emergence of specific education curricula. Synergies with the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions will be encouraged.

Broad lines

–  Integrated networks of research infrastructures for the preparation and implementation of a common strategy/roadmap for technological development and instrumentation;

–  training of staff managing and operating research infrastructures of pan-European interest.

3.2.2b.  Reinforcing European Research Infrastructure policy and International Cooperation

Support is needed so that policy makers, funding bodies or advisory groups such as ESFRI are well-aligned towards developing and implementing a coherent and sustainable long-term European strategy on research infrastructures.

Similarly, enabling strategic international cooperation will strengthen of the position of European research infrastructures at international level, ensuring their global networking, interoperability and reach.

Broad Lines

–  Survey, monitoring and assessment of research infrastructures at EU level, as well as policy studies, communication and training actions, strategic international cooperation actions for research infrastructures, and specific activities of relevant policy and advisory bodies.

PILLAR II

GLOBAL CHALLENGES AND EUROPEAN INDUSTRIAL COMPETITIVENESS

The EU is confronted by many challenges, some of which are also global challenges. The scale and complexity of the problems are vast, need to be tackled jointly and matched by adequate, properly trained and skilled human resources, by the appropriate amount of financial resources and a proportionate effort in order to find solutions. These are precisely the areas where the EU must work together; smart, flexible and joined-up for the benefit and well-being of all our citizens.

Greater impact can be obtained through aligning actions with other nations and regions of the world within international cooperation along the lines indicated by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris climate agreement. Based on mutual benefit, partners from across the world will be invited to join EU efforts as an integral part of research and innovation for sustainable development.

Research and innovation are key drivers of sustainable and inclusive growth and technological and industrial competitiveness. They will contribute to finding solutions to today’s problems, and the problems of tomorrow, in order to reverse as quickly as possible, the negative and dangerous trend that currently links economic development with the growing use of natural resources and growing social challenges. This will turn the challenges into new business opportunities and into rapid benefits for society.

The EU will benefit as user and producer of knowledge, technologies and industries showcasing how modern industrialised, sustainable, inclusive, creative, resilient, open and democratic society and economy can function and develop. The growing economic-environmental-social examples of the sustainable economy of the future will be fostered and boosted, be they for: health and well-being for all; or resilient, creative and inclusive societies; or societies strengthened by civil security; or available clean energy and mobility; or a digitised economy and society; or a transdisciplinary and creative industry; or space-related, marine or land-based solutions; or a well-functioning bioeconomy, including food and nutrition solutions; sustainable use of natural resources, protection of the environment, climate change mitigation and adaptation, all generating wealth in Europe and offering higher quality jobs. Industrial transformation will be crucial, as well as developing EU innovative industrial value chains.

New technologies affect virtually all policy areas. For each separate technology there is often a combination of social and economic opportunities, opportunities for efficiency and quality and improvement of the government, consequences for employment and education, but also possible risks for safety, privacy and ethics. Technology policy therefore necessarily requires an integral weighing of interests, and cross-sectoral cooperation and strategy formulation.

Research and innovation under this pillar of Horizon Europe is grouped into integrated, non-siloed broad clusters of activities. Rather than addressing sectors, the investments aim at systemic changes for our society and economy along a sustainability vector. These will only be achieved if all actors, both private and public, engage in co-designing and co-creating research and innovation; bringing together end-users, scientists, technologists, producers, innovators, businesses, educators, policy-makers, citizens and civil society organisations. Therefore, none of the clusters is intended for only one set of actors and all activities will be implemented primarily by collaborative research and innovation projects selected on the basis of competitive calls for proposals.

In addition to addressing global challenges, activities in the clusters will also develop and apply, key enabling and emerging technologies (either or not digital-based) as part of a common strategy to promote the EU's industrial and social leadership. Where appropriate this will use EU space-enabled data and services. All TRL levels up to 8 will be covered in this pillar of Horizon Europe without prejudice to Union competition law.

Actions will generate new knowledge and develop technological and non-technological solutions, bring technology from lab to market and to develop applications including pilot lines and demonstrators, and include measures to stimulate market uptake and to boost private sector commitment and incentives to standardisation activities within the Union. Technologies require critical mass of European researchers and industry to establish world leading eco-systems, that include state of the art technology infrastructures e.g. for testing. Synergies with other parts of Horizon Europe and the EIT, as well as other programmes will be maximised.

The clusters will boost the quick introduction of first-of-its-kind innovation in the EU through a broad range of embedded activities, including communication, dissemination and exploitation, standardisation as well as support to non-technological innovation and innovative delivery mechanisms, helping create innovation friendly societal, regulatory and market conditions such as the innovation deals. Pipelines of innovative solutions originating from research and innovation actions will be established and targeted to public and private investors as well as other relevant EU and national or regional programmes. Synergies will be developed with the third pillar of Horizon Europe in that perspective.

Gender equality is a crucial factor in order to obtain sustainable economic growth. It is therefore important to integrate a gender perspective in all global challenges.

1.  CLUSTER 'HEALTH'

1.1.  Rationale

The EU Pillar of Social Rights asserts that everyone has the right to timely access to affordable, preventive and curative health care that is safe and of good quality. This underlines the EU’s commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals calling for universal health coverage for all and at all ages by 2030, leaving no one behind, and ending preventable deaths.

A healthy population is vital for a stable, sustainable and inclusive society, and improvements in health are crucial in reducing poverty, in dealing with an ageing European society, in fostering social progress and prosperity, and in increasing economic growth. According to the OECD a 10% improvement in life expectancy is associated with a rise in economic growth of 0.3-0.4% a year. Life expectancy in the EU increased by 12 years since its establishment as a result of tremendous improvements achieved in the quality of life, environment, education, health and care of its people. In 2015, overall life expectancy at birth was 80.6 years in the EU compared to 71.4 years globally. In the past years, it increased in the EU on average by 3 months annually. Besides these improvements social and gender-specific differences in life expectancy can be observed between specific groups and across European countries.

Health research and innovation have played a significant part in this achievement but also in improving productivity and quality in the health and care industry. However, the EU continues to face novel, newly emerging or persisting challenges that are threatening citizens and public health, the sustainability of its health care and social protection systems, as well as the competitiveness of its health and care industry. Major health challenges in the EU include: accessibility and affordability of health and care; the lack of effective health promotion and disease prevention; the rise of non-communicable diseases; the increased cases of cancer; the increase of mental illness; the spread of antimicrobial drug resistance and the emergence of infectious epidemics; increased environmental pollution; the persistence of health inequalities among and within countries disproportionally affecting people that are disadvantaged or in vulnerable stages of life; the detection, understanding, control, prevention and mitigation of health risks, including poverty-related aspects, in a rapidly changing social, urban, rural and natural environment; demographic change, including ageing-related issues, and the increasing costs for European health care systems; and the increasing pressure on the European health and care industry to remain competitive in and by developing health innovation vis-a-vis emerging global players. In addition, vaccine hesitancy may decrease immunisation coverage among certain population groups.

These health challenges are complex, interlinked and global in nature and require multidisciplinary, technical and non-technical, cross-sectorial and transnational collaborations. Research and innovation activities will build close linkages between discovery, clinical, translational epidemiological, ethical, environmental and socio-economic research as well as with regulatory sciences. They will address areas of unmet clinical needs such as for example rare or hard to treat diseases (cancers, such as paediatric and lung cancer). They will harness the combined skills of academia, practitioners, regulatory bodies and industry and foster their collaboration with health services, social services, patients, policy-makers and citizens in order to leverage on public funding and ensure the uptake of results in clinical practice as well as in health care systems taking into account the competencies of Member States regarding the organisation and financing of their health systems. Full advantage will be taken of genomic and other multiomics frontier research, as well as the progressive introduction of personalised medicine approaches, relevant for addressing a variety of non-communicable diseases and the digitalisation in health and care.

Research and innovation will foster strategic collaboration at EU and international level in order to pool the expertise, capacities and resources needed to create scope, speed and economies of scale, as well as to exploit synergies, avoid duplication of effort and share the expected benefits and financial risks involved. Synergies in health research and innovation in Horizon Europe shall be promoted, in particular with the Health Strand within the European Social Fund Plus.

Digital health solutions have created many opportunities to solve the problems of care services and to address other emerging issues of ageing society. Full advantage should be taken of the opportunities that digitalisation in health and care can provide without jeopardising the right to privacy and data protection. Digital devices and software have been developed to diagnose, treat and facilitate patients’ self-management of illness, including chronic diseases. Digital technologies are also increasingly used in medical training and education and for patients and other healthcare consumers to access, share and create health information.

The research and innovation activities of this global challenge will develop the knowledge base, exploit existing knowledge and technologies, consolidate and create the research and innovation capacity and develop the solutions needed for a more effective promotion of health and the integrated prevention, diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, rehabilitation and cure of diseases and (long-term and palliative) care. Results of research will be translated as recommendations for action and communicated with the relevant stakeholders. Improving health outcomes will in turn result in increased well-being and life expectancy, healthy active lives, improved quality of life and productivity, more healthy life years and sustainability of health and care systems. In line with articles 14 and 15 of the Regulation and the Charter for Human Rights and Fundamental Principles, ethics, protection of human dignity, gender and ethnical aspects and the needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable people will receive special attention.

Addressing major health challenges will support the EU’s commitment to the United Nation's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and those in the context of other UN organisations and international initiatives, including the global strategies and plans of action of the World Health Organization (WHO). It will contribute to the EU's policy goals and strategies, notably to the EU Pillar of Social Rights, the EU Digital Single Market, the EU Directive on cross-border healthcare, and the European One Health Action Plan against antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and to the implementation of the relevant EU regulatory frameworks.

Activities will contribute directly to the following Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) in particular: SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being for People; SDG13 – Climate Action.

1.2.  Areas of Intervention

1.2.1.  Health throughout the Life Course

People in vulnerable stages of life (perinatal, birth, infancy, childhood, adolescence, pregnancy, mature and late adulthood), including people with disabilities or injuries, have specific health needs that require better understanding and tailored solutions, taking gender and ethical aspects into consideration. This will allow reducing related health inequalities and improving health outcomes to the benefit of active and healthy ageing throughout the life course, including through a healthy start of life and diet reducing the risk of mental and physical diseases later in life. Prevention and communication will consider characteristics of specific audiences:

Broad Lines

–  Understanding the early development and the aging process throughout the life course;

–  pre- and neo-natal, maternal, paternal, infant and child health as well as the role of parents, family and educators;

–  Health needs of adolescents, including factors influencing mental health;

–  Health consequences of disabilities and injuries;

–  Research on measures to plan, implement and monitor rehabilitation throughout the life course and especially early individual rehabilitation programme (EIRP) for children affected by disabling pathologies

–  Healthy ageing, independent and active life, including social participation for the elderly and/or disabled people;

–  Health education and health literacy, including digital.

1.2.2.  Environmental and Social Health Determinants

Improved understanding of health drivers and risk factors determined by the social, culture, economic and physical environment in people’s everyday life and at the workplace, including the health impact of digitalisation, human mobility (such as migration and travel), pollution, nutrition, climate change and other environmental issues, will contribute to identify, prevent and mitigate health risks and threats; to reducing death and illness from exposure to chemicals and environmental pollution; to supporting safe, environmental-friendly, healthy, resilient and sustainable living and working environments; to promoting healthy lifestyles and consumption behaviour; and to developing an equitable, inclusive and trusted society. This will also be based on population based cohorts, human biomonitoring and epidemiological studies.

Broad Lines

–  Technologies and methodologies for assessing hazards, exposures and health impact of chemicals, indoor and outdoor pollutants and other stressors related to climate change, workplace, lifestyle or the environment and combined effects of several stressors;

–  Environmental, occupational, socioeconomic, cultural, genetic and behavioural factors impacting physical and mental health and well-being of people and their interaction, with special attention to vulnerable and disadvantaged people, age-specific and gender-specific issues where relevant, and including the impact on health of the design of buildings, products and services;

–  Risk assessment, management and communication, supported by transdisciplinary approaches, where relevant, and improved tools for evidence-based decision-making, including replacement of and alternatives to animal testing;

–  Capacity and infrastructures to securely collect, share, use, re-use and combine data on all health determinants, including human exposure, and ensure their connection with databases on environmental parameters, lifestyles, health status and diseases, at EU and international level;

–  Health promotion and primary prevention interventions, including occupational aspects.

1.2.3.  Non-Communicable and Rare Diseases

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cancer, rare diseases, pose a major health and societal challenge and call for improved understanding and taxonomy, as well as more effective approaches, including personalised medicine (also called "precision medicine") approaches, in prevention, diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, rehabilitation and cure as well as understanding of multimorbidities.

Broad Lines

–  Understanding the mechanisms underlying the development of non-communicable diseases, including Cardiovascular diseases;

–  Longitudinal population studies to support understanding health and disease parameters and help stratifying populations in support of the development of preventive medicine;

–  Diagnostic tools and techniques for earlier and more accurate diagnosis and for timely patient-adapted treatment, enabling delay and/or reversal of the progression of disease;

–  Prevention and screening programmes, in line with or going beyond WHO, UN and EU recommendations;

–  Integrated solutions for self-monitoring, health promotion, disease prevention, and management of chronic conditions and multi-morbidities, including neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases;

–  Treatments, cures or other therapeutic interventions, including both pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatments;

–  Palliative care;

–  Areas of high unmet clinical need, such as rare diseases, including paediatric cancers

–  Assessment of comparative effectiveness of interventions and solutions, including based on Real World Data (RWD);

–  Implementation research to scale up health interventions and support their uptake in health policies and systems;

–  Development of research and improvement of information, care and treatment, including personalised medicine, for rare diseases.

1.2.4.  Infectious Diseases, including poverty-related and neglected diseases

Protecting people against cross-border health threats is a major challenge for public and global health, calling for effective international cooperation at EU and global level. This will involve understanding and prevention of, preparedness for, early detection of and research response to outbreaks, treatment and cure of infectious diseases, including poverty-related and neglected diseases, and also tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) following a 'One Health approach'.

Broad Lines

–  Understanding infection-related mechanisms;

–  Drivers for the emergence or re-emergence of infectious diseases and their spread, including transmission from animals to humans (zoonosis), or from other parts of the environment (water, soil, plants, food) to humans, as well as impact of climate change and ecosystems evolutions on the dynamics of infectious diseases ;

–  Prediction, early and rapid detection, control and surveillance of infectious diseases, healthcare-associated infections and environmental related factors;

–  Combatting antimicrobial resistance, including epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis, as well as the development of new antimicrobials and vaccines;

–  Vaccines, including vaccine platform technologies, diagnostics, treatments and cures for infectious diseases, including co-morbidities and co-infections;

–  Addressing low vaccine uptake, understanding vaccine hesitancy and building vaccine confidence;

–  Effective health emergency preparedness, response and recovery measures and strategies, involving communities, and their coordination at regional, national and EU level;

–  Barriers to the implementation and uptake of medical interventions in clinical practice as well as in the healthcare system;

–  Trans-border aspects of infectious diseases and specific challenges in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), such as AIDS, tuberculosis and tropical diseases, including malaria, also in relation to migratory flows and, in general, to increased human mobility.

1.2.5.  Tools, Technologies and Digital Solutions for Health and Care, including personalised medicine

Health technologies and tools are vital for public health and contributed to a large extent to the important improvements achieved in the quality of life, health and care of people, in the EU. It is thus a key strategic challenge to design, develop, deliver, implement and evaluate suitable, trustable, safe, user-friendly and cost-effective tools and technologies for health and care, taking due account of the needs of people with disabilities and the aging society. These include key enabling technologies from new biomaterials to biotechnology as well as single cell methods, multiomics and systems medicine approaches, artificial intelligence and other digital technologies, offering significant improvements over existing ones, as well as stimulating a competitive and sustainable health-related industry that creates high-value jobs. The European health-related industry is one of the critical economic sectors in the EU, accounting for 3% of GDP and 1.5 million employees. Relevant stakeholders need to be involved as early as possible, and the non technological dimension will be taken into account, in order to ensure acceptability of new technologies, methodologies and tools. This includes citizens, health care providers and professionals.

Broad Lines

–  Tools and technologies for applications across the health spectrum and any relevant medical indication, including functional impairment;

–  Integrated tools, technologies, medical devices, medical imaging, biotechnology, nanomedicine and advanced therapies (including cellular and gene therapy), and digital solutions for human health and care, including artificial intelligence, mobile solutions and telehealth, while addressing, when relevant, cost-efficiency production aspects at an early stage (in order to optimize the industrialisation stage and the potential of innovation to become an affordable medicinal product);

–  Piloting, large-scale deployment, optimisation, and innovation procurement of health and care technologies and tools in real-life settings including clinical trials, implementation research including diagnostics based on personalised medicine;

–  Innovative processes and services for the development, manufacturing and rapid delivery of tools and technologies for health and care;

–  The safety, efficacy, cost-effectiveness, interoperability and quality of tools and technologies for health and care as well as their ethical, legal and social impact, including social acceptance issues;

–  Regulatory science and standards for health and care technologies and tools;

–  Health data management, including data interoperability, integration, analytical and visualisation methods, decision making processes, building on artificial intelligence, data mining, big data technologies, bioinformatics and high performance computing technologies to foster personalised medicine including prevention, and to optimise the health journey.

1.2.6.  Health Care Systems

Health systems are a key asset of the EU social systems, accounting for 24 million employees in the health and social work sector in 2017. It is a main priority of Member States to render health systems safe and secure, accessible for all, integrated, cost-effective, resilient, sustainable and trusted with timely and relevant services, as well as to reduce inequalities, including by unleashing the potential of data-driven and digital innovation for better health and person-centred care building on open and safe European data infrastructures. New opportunities such as 5G deployment, the concept of ‘digital twins’ and the Internet of Things will advance the digital transformation of health and care.

Broad Lines

–  Supporting the knowledge base for reforms in health systems and policies in Europe and beyond;

–  New models and approaches for health and care, including personalised medicine approaches, management and organisational aspects, and their transferability or adaptation from one country/region to another;

–  Improving health technology assessment;

–  Evolution of health inequality and effective policy response;

–  Future health workforce and its needs, including digital skills;

–  Improving timely, reliable, safe and trustworthy health information and use/reuse of health data, including electronic health records, with due attention to data protection, including the misuse of personal life style and health information, security, accessibility, interoperability, standards, comparability and integrity;

–  Health systems resilience in absorbing the impact of crises and to accommodate disruptive innovation;

–  Solutions for citizen and patient empowerment, self-monitoring, and interaction with health and social care professionals, for more integrated care and a user-centred approach, while considering equal access;

–  Data, information, knowledge and best practice from health systems research at EU-level and globally building on existing knowledge and databases.

2.  CLUSTER CULTURE, CREATIVITY AND INCLUSIVE SOCIETY'

2.1.  Rationale

The EU stands for a unique way of combining economic growth with sustainable development goals and social policies, with high levels of social inclusion, shared values embracing democracy, human rights, gender equality and the richness of diversity. This model is constantly evolving and needs to deal with the challenges from amongst other things, globalisation and technological change and rising inequalities.

The EU must promote a model of inclusive and sustainable growth while reaping the benefits of technological advancements, enhancing trust in and promoting innovation of democratic governance, fostering education, combatting inequalities, unemployment, marginalisation, discrimination and radicalisation, guaranteeing human rights, fostering cultural diversity and European cultural heritage and empowering citizens through social innovation. The management of migration and the integration of migrants will also continue to be priority issues. The role of research and innovation in social sciences, humanities, and arts, as well as in the cultural and creative sectors, in responding to these challenges and achieving the EU’s goals is fundamental. In particular SSH aspects are included in all intervention areas of this cluster.

The magnitude, complexity, intergenerational and trans-national character of the challenges call for multi-layered EU action. Addressing such critical social, political, cultural and economic issues only at national level would carry the danger of inefficient use of resources, fragmented approaches and dissimilar standards of knowledge and capacity.

Research and Innovation activities in this Global Challenge will be overall aligned with the EU's priorities on Democratic Change; Jobs, Growth and Investment; Justice and Fundamental Rights; Migration; A Deeper and Fairer European Monetary Union; Digital Single Market. It will respond to the commitment of the Rome Agenda to work towards: "a social Europe" and "a Union which preserves our cultural heritage and promotes cultural diversity". It will also support the European Pillar of Social Rights, and the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. Synergies with the Justice Programme and with the Rights and Values Programme, which support activities in the area of access to justice, victims' rights, gender equality, non-discrimination, data protection and promotion of the European citizenship, as well as with the Creative Europe and Digital Europe programme, Erasmus, Erasmus+ and European Social Fund Plus, will be exploited.

Activities will contribute directly to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in particular: SDG 1 - No Poverty; SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being for People; SDG 4 - Quality Education; SDG 5 - Gender Equality; SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth; SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; SDG 10 - Reducing Inequalities; SDG 11- Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDG 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

2.2.  Areas of Intervention

2.2.1.  Democracy and Governance

Trust in democracy and established political institutions seems to be receding. Disenchantment with politics is increasingly articulated by anti-establishment and populist parties and a resurgent nativism. This is compounded by socio-economic inequalities, high migration flows and security concerns, among others. Responding to present and future challenges requires new thinking on how democratic institutions at all levels must adapt in a context of greater diversity, global economic competition, rapid technological advancements and digitisation, with citizens' experience of democratic discourses, practices and institutions being crucial.

Broad Lines

–  The history, evolution and efficacy of democracies, at different levels and in different forms; the role of education, cultural and youth policies as cornerstones of democratic citizenship;

–  The role of social capital and access to culture in strengthening democratic dialogue and civic participation, open and trusting societies.

–  Innovative and responsible approaches to support the transparency, accessibility, responsiveness, accountability, trustworthiness, resilience, effectiveness and legitimacy of democratic governance in full respect of fundamental and human rights and of the rule of law;

–  Strategies to address populism, racism, polarisation, corruption, extremism, radicalisation, terrorism and to include, empower and engage citizens;

–  Analysis and development of social, economic and political inclusion and inter-cultural dynamics in Europe and beyond;

–  Better understand the role of journalistic standards and user-generated content in a hyper-connected society and develop tools to combat disinformation;

–  The role of multi-cultural including spiritual identities, in relation to democracy, citizenship and political engagement, as well as EU founding values such as respect, tolerance, gender equality, cooperation and dialogue;

–  Support research to understand identity and belonging across communities, regions and nations;

–  The impact of technological and scientific advancements, including big data, online social networks and artificial intelligence on democracy, privacy and the freedom of speech;

–  Deliberative, participatory and direct democracy and governance and active and inclusive citizenship, including the digital dimension;

–  The impact of economic and social inequalities on political participation and democratic governance, and research on to what extent it can contribute of reversing inequalities and combatting all forms of discrimination including gender to a more resilient democracy;

–  Human, social and political dimensions of criminality, dogmatism and radicalisation, in relation to those engaged or potentially engaged in such behaviour as well as to those affected or potentially affected;

–  Combatting disinformation, fake news and hate speech, and their impact in shaping the public sphere;

–  The EU as an international and regional actor in multilateral governance, including new approaches to science diplomacy.

–  Efficiency of justice systems and improved access to justice based on judiciary independence and principles and human rights, with fair, efficient and transparent procedural methods both in civil and criminal matters.

2.2.2.  Cultural Heritage

The European cultural and creative sectors build bridges between arts, culture, spiritual beliefs and experiences and cultural heritage, business and technology. Furthermore, Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) play a key role in reindustrialising Europe, are a driver for growth and are in a strategic position to trigger innovative spill-overs in other industrial sectors, such as tourism, retail, media and digital technologies and engineering. Cultural heritage forms an integral part of the cultural and creative sectors and is the fabric of our lives, meaningful to communities, groups and societies, giving a sense of belonging. It is the bridge between the past and the future of our societies. A better understanding of our cultural heritage and how it is perceived and interpreted are vital to creating an inclusive society in Europe and worldwide. It is also a driving force of European, national, regional and local economies and a powerful source of inspiration for creative and cultural industries. Accessing, conserving, safeguarding and restoring, interpreting and harnessing the full potential of our cultural heritage are crucial challenges now and for future generations. Cultural heritage, tangible and intangible, is the major input and inspiration for the arts, traditional craftsmanship, the cultural, creative and entrepreneurial sectors that are drivers of sustainable economic growth, new job creation and external trade. In this sense, both innovation and resilience of cultural heritage need to be considered in collaboration with local communities and relevant stakeholders. It also may serve as an agent of cultural diplomacy and as a factor of identity building and cultural and social cohesion.

Broad Lines

–  Heritage studies and sciences, with cutting edge technologies and innovative methodologies, including digital ones;

–  Access to and sharing of cultural heritage, with innovative patterns and uses and participatory management models;

–  Research for the accessibility of cultural heritage through new technologies, such as cloud services, including but not limited to a European cultural heritage collaborative space , as well as encouraging and facilitating transmission of know-how and skills. This will be preceded by an impact assessment;

–  Sustainable business models to strengthen the financial foundation of the heritage sector;

–  Connect cultural heritage with emerging creative sectors, including interactive media, and social innovation;

–  The contribution of cultural heritage to sustainable development through conservation, safeguarding, developing, and regeneration of cultural landscapes, with the EU as a laboratory for heritage-based innovation and sustainable cultural tourism;

–  Conservation, safeguarding, enhancement, restoration and sustainable management of cultural heritage and languages including the use of traditional skills and crafts or cutting edge technologies including digital;

–  Influence of cultural memories, traditions, behavioural patterns, perceptions, beliefs, values, sense of belonging and identities. The role of culture and cultural heritage in multi-cultural societies and patterns of cultural inclusion and exclusion.

2.2.3.  Social and Economic Transformations

European societies are undergoing profound socio-economic and cultural transformations, especially as a result of globalisation and technological innovations. At the same time there has been an increase in income inequality in most European countries(14). Forward-looking policies are needed, with a view to promoting sustainable and inclusive growth, gender equality, well-being and reversing inequalities, boosting productivity (including advancements in its measurement), socio-spatial inequalities and human capital, understanding and responding to migration and integration challenges and supporting intergenerational solidarity, intercultural dialogue and social mobility. Accessible, inclusive and high quality education and training systems are needed for a more equitable and prosperous future.

Broad Lines

–  Knowledge base for advice on investments and policies especially education and training, for high value added skills, productivity, social mobility, growth, social innovation and job creation. The role of education and training to tackle inequalities and underpin inclusion, including school-failure prevention;

–  Social sustainability beyond GDP- only indicators especially new economic and business models and new financial technologies;

–  Statistical and other economic tools for a better understanding of growth and innovation in a context of sluggish productivity gains and/or structural economic changes;

–  New governance models in emerging economic areas and market institutions;

–  New types of work, the role of work, upskilling, trends and changes in labour markets and income in contemporary societies, and their impacts on income distribution, work-life balance, working environments, non-discrimination including gender equality and social inclusion;

–  Greater understanding of the societal changes in Europe and their impact;

–  The effects of social, technological and economic transformations on access to safe, healthy, affordable and sustainable housing;

–  Tax and benefits systems together with social security and social investment policies, with a view to reversing inequalities in a fair and sustainable way and addressing the impacts of technology, demographics and diversity;

–  Inclusive and sustainable development and growth models for urban, semi-urban and rural environments;

–  Understanding human mobility and its impacts in the context of social and economic transformations, considered in the global and local scales for better migration governance, respect of differences, long-term integration of migrants including refugees and impact of related policy interventions; respect of international commitments and human rights and issues of development aid and cooperation; greater, improved access to quality education, training, labour market, culture, support services, active and inclusive citizenship especially for the vulnerable, including migrants;

–  Tackling of major challenges concerning European models for social cohesion, immigration, integration, demographic change, ageing, disability, education, poverty and social exclusion;

–  Advanced strategies and innovative methods for gender equality in all social, economic and cultural domains, and to deal with gender biases and gender-based violence.

–  Education and training systems to foster and make the best use of the EU's digital transformation, also to manage the risks from global interconnectedness and technological innovations, especially emerging online risks, ethical concerns, socio-economic inequalities and radical changes in markets;

–  Modernisation of public authorities governance and management systems to engage citizens and meet their expectation regarding service provision, transparency, accessibility, openness, accountability and user centricity.

3.  CLUSTER 'CIVIL SECURITY FOR SOCIETY'

3.1.  Rationale

European cooperation has contributed to an era of unprecedented peace, stability and prosperity on the European continent. However, Europe has to respond to the challenges arising from persistent threats to the security of our increasingly complex and digitalised society. Terrorist attacks and radicalisation, as well as cyber-attacks and hybrid threats, raise major security concerns and put particular strain on societies. New, emerging security threats caused by new technologies in the near future, also require attention. Future security and prosperity depend on improving the abilities to protect Europe against such threats. These cannot be dealt with purely by technological means but require knowledge about people, their history, culture and behaviour, and include ethical considerations regarding the balance between security and freedom. Moreover, Europe has to ensure its non-dependence on security-critical technologies and support the development of breakthrough security technologies.

European citizens, state institutions, EU bodies and the economy need to be protected from the continued threats of terrorism and organised crime, including firearms trafficking, drug trafficking and trafficking in human beings and trafficking of cultural goods. Human and social dimensions of criminality and violent radicalisation require better understanding so as to improve public policies in terms of security. Strengthening protection and security through better border management, including maritime and land borders, is also key. Cybercrime is on the increase and related risks are diversifying as the economy and society digitalise. Europe needs to continue its efforts to improve cybersecurity, digital privacy, personal data protection and combat the spread of false and harmful information in order to safeguard democratic, social and economic stability. Further efforts are required to limit the effects on lives and livelihoods of extreme weather events which are intensifying due to climate change, such as floods, storms, heat waves or droughts leading to forest fires, land degradation and other natural disasters, e.g. earthquakes. Disasters, whether natural or human-made, can put at risk important societal functions and critical infrastructures, such as communication, health, food, drinking water, energy supply, transport, security and government.

This requires both technical research and research into the human factors involved to improve disaster resilience, including, where appropriate, testing applications, training and cyber hygiene and education. More efforts are needed to evaluate the results of security research and promote their uptake.

This cluster will seek synergies, in particular with the following Programmes: Internal Security Fund, Integrated Border Management Fund and Digital Europe as well as improved research and innovation cooperation between intergovernmental agencies and organisations including through exchange and consultation mechanisms for example in the intervention area 'Protection and Security'.

Security research is part of the wider comprehensive EU response to security threats. It contributes to the capability development process by enabling the future availability of technologies, techniques and applications to fill capability gaps identified by policy-makers and practitioners and civil society organisations. Already, funding to research through the EU's framework programme has represented around 50% of total public funding for security research in the EU. Full use will be made of available instruments, including the European space programme (Galileo and EGNOS, Copernicus, Space Situational Awareness and Governmental Satellite Communications). Whereas research and innovation activities under this Programme will have an exclusive focus on civil applications, coordination with EU-funded defence research will be sought in order to strengthen synergies, recognizing that there are areas of dual-use technology. Duplication of funding is avoided. Cross-border collaboration contributes to developing a European single security market and improving industrial performance, underpinning the EU's autonomy. Due attention will be given to the human understanding and perception of security.

Security research responds to the commitment of the Rome Agenda to work towards "a safe and secure Europe", contributing to a genuine and effective Security Union.

Activities will contribute directly to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in particular: SDG 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

3.1.1.  Disaster-Resilient Societies

Disasters may arise from multiple sources, whether natural or human-made, including those from terrorist attacks, climate-related and other extreme events (including from sea level rises), from forest fires, heat waves, floods, droughts, desertification, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic events, from water crises, from space weather events, from industrial and transport disasters, from CBRN events, as well as those from resulting cascading risks. The aim is to prevent and reduce the loss of life, harm to health and the environment, trauma as well as economic and material damage from disasters, ensure food, medicine supply and services and water security as well as to improve the understanding and reduction of disaster risks and enhance post-disaster recovery. This implies covering the full spectrum of crisis management: from prevention and training, to crisis management and post-crisis management and resilience.

Broad Lines

–  Technologies, capabilities and governance for first responders for emergency operations in crisis, disaster and post-disaster situations and the initial phase of recovery;

–  The capacities of society to better prevent, manage and reduce disaster risk, including through nature-based solutions, by enhancing forecasting capabilities, prevention, preparedness and response to existing and new risks and domino effects, impact assessment and a better understanding of the human factor in risk management and risk communication strategies;

–  More effectively support the build-back-better philosophy of the Sendai Framework through better understanding of post-disaster recovery and research into more effective post-disaster risk assessment.

–  Interoperability of equipment and procedures to facilitate cross-border operational cooperation and an integrated EU market.

3.1.2.  Protection and Security

There is a need to protect citizens from and to respond to security threats from criminal including terrorist activities and hybrid threats; to protect people, public spaces and critical infrastructure, from both physical (including CBRN-E) attacks and cyber-attacks; to fight terrorism and violent radicalisation, including understanding and tackling terrorist ideas and beliefs; to prevent and fight serious crime, including cybercrime, and organised crime (such as piracy and counterfeiting of products); to support victims; to trace criminal financial flows; to develop new forensic capabilities; to support the use of data for law enforcement and to ensure the protection of personal data in law enforcement activities; to strengthen border protection capabilities, to support air, land and sea EU border management, for flows of people and goods and to understand the human factor in all these security threats and in their prevention and mitigation. It is essential to maintain flexibility to rapidly address new and unforeseen security challenges that may arise.

Broad Lines

–  Innovative approaches and technologies for security practitioners (such as police forces, fire brigades, medical services, border and coast guards, customs offices), in particular in the context of, digital transformation and interoperability of security forces, operators of infrastructure, civil society organisations, and those managing open spaces;

–  Analysis of cross-border crime phenomena, advanced methods of fast, reliable, standardised and privacy enhanced data sharing and collection as well as best practices;

–  Human and socio-economic dimensions of criminality and violent radicalisation, in relation to those engaged or potentially engaged in such behaviour as well as to those affected or potentially affected, including understanding and tackling terrorist ideas and beliefs and crimes based on gender, sexual orientation or racial discrimination;

–  Analysis of security aspects of new technologies such as DNA-sequencing, genome editing, nanomaterials and functional materials, Artificial Intelligence, autonomous systems, drones, robotics, quantum computing, cryptocurrencies, 3D printing and wearables, blockchain, as well as improving awareness of citizens, public authorities and industry to prevent the creation of new security risks and to reduce existing risks, including from those new technologies;

–  Improved foresight and analysis capabilities for policy making and at strategic level on security threats;

–  Protection of critical infrastructures as well as open and public spaces from physical, digital and hybrid threats, including the effects of climate change;

–  Monitoring and combatting disinformation and fake news with implications for security, including developing capabilities to detect the sources of manipulation;

–  Technological development for civil applications with the scope to enhance, where appropriate, interoperability between civil protection and military forces;

–  Interoperability of equipment and procedures to facilitate cross-border, intergovernmental and inter-agency operational cooperation, and develop an integrated EU market;

–  Developing tools and methods for an effective and efficient Integrated Border Management, in particular to increase reaction capability and improved capacity to monitor movements across external borders to enhance risk detection, incident responding and crime prevention;

–  Detection of fraudulent activities at border crossing points and throughout the supply chain, including identifying forged or otherwise manipulated documents and detecting trafficking in human beings and illicit goods;

–  Ensuring the protection of personal data in law enforcement activities, in particular in view of rapid technological developments, including confidentiality and integrity of information and traceability and processing of all transactions;

–  Developing techniques for identifying counterfeit products, for enhancing protection of original parts and goods and for controlling transported products.

3.1.3.  Cybersecurity

Malicious cyber activities not only threaten our economies but also the very functioning of our democracies, our freedoms and our values. Cyber threats are often criminal, motivated by profit, but they can also be political and strategic. Our future security, freedom, democracy and prosperity depend on improving our ability to protect the EU against cyber threats. The digital transformation requires improving cybersecurity substantially, to ensure the protection of the huge number of IoT devices expected to be connected to the internet, and the safe operation of network and information systems, including for power grids, drinking water supply and distribution, vehicles and transport systems, hospitals, finances, public institutions, factories, homes. Europe must build resilience to cyber-attacks and create effective cyber deterrence, while making sure that data protection and the freedom of citizens are strengthened. It is in the Union's interest to ensure that it develops and retains essential cybersecurity strategic capacities in order to secure the Digital Single Market, and, in particular, to ensure the protection of critical networks and of information systems and to provide key cybersecurity services. The Union must be in a position to autonomously secure its digital assets and to compete on the global cybersecurity market.

Broad Lines

–  Technologies across the digital value chain (from secure components and quantum-resistant cryptography to self-healing software and networks);

–  Technologies, methods, standards and best practices to address cybersecurity threats, anticipating future needs, and sustaining a competitive European industry, including tools for electronic identification, threat detection, cyber hygiene, as well as training and education resources;

–  An open collaboration for European cybersecurity competence network and competence centre.

4.  CLUSTER 'DIGITAL, INDUSTRY AND SPACE'

4.1.  Rationale

To ensure industrial competitiveness and the capacity to address the global challenges ahead, the EU must increase its technological sovereignty and its scientific, technological and industrial capacities in the key areas that underpin the transformation of our economy, the work place and society.

EU industry provides one out of five jobs and two thirds of private sector R&D investments and generates 80% of EU exports. A new wave of innovation, involving a merging of physical and digital technologies, will trigger huge opportunities for EU industry and improve the quality of life for EU citizens.

Digitisation is a major driver. As it continues at a rapid pace across all sectors, investment in priority areas ranging from trustworthy artificial intelligence to next generation internet, high performance computing, photonics, quantum technologies, robotics and micro-/nano-electronics, becomes essential for the strength of our economy and the sustainability of our society. Investing, producing and using digital technologies provides a major boost to EU economic growth, amounting to an increase of 30% between 2001 and 2011 alone. In this context, the role of SMEs remains fundamental in the EU, both in terms of growth and jobs. Digital uptake among SMEs promotes competitiveness and sustainability.

Key enabling technologies(15) underpin the blending of the digital and the physical worlds, central to this new global wave of innovation. Investing in research, development, demonstration and deployment of key enabling technologies, and ensuring a secure, sustainable and affordable supply of raw and advanced materials, will secure EU strategic autonomy and help EU industry to significantly reduce its carbon and environmental footprints.

Specific future and emerging technologies will also be pursued as appropriate.

Space is of strategic importance; around 10% of the EU's GDP depends on the use of space services. The EU has a world-class space sector, with a strong satellite manufacturing industry and a dynamic downstream services sector. Space provides important tools for monitoring, communication, navigation, and surveillance and opens up many business opportunities especially in combination with digital technologies and other sources of data. The EU must make the most of these opportunities by fully exploiting the potential of its space programmes Copernicus, EGNOS and Galileo, and by protecting space and ground infrastructures against threats from space.

The EU has the unique chance of being a global leader and increase its share of world markets, by showcasing how digital transformation, leadership in key enabling and space technologies, the transition to a low-carbon, circular economy and competitiveness can reinforce each other through scientific and technological excellence.

To make the digitised, circular, low-carbon and low-emission economy a reality, action is needed at EU level because of the complexity of value chains, the systemic and multi-disciplinary nature of the technologies and their high development costs, and the cross-sectoral nature of the problems to be addressed. The EU must ensure that all industrial players, and society at large, can benefit from advanced and clean technologies and digitalisation. Developing technologies alone will not suffice. A societal understanding of these technologies and evolutions is crucial for engaging end users and behavioural change.

Industrially-oriented infrastructures, including pilot lines, will help EU businesses, and in particular SMEs, deploy these technologies and improve their innovation performance and may be facilitated also by other EU programmes.

A strong engagement of industry and civil society is essential for setting priorities and developing research and innovation agendas, increasing the leverage of public funding through private and public investments, and ensuring the better uptake of results. Societal understanding and acceptance, including consideration of the design of products, goods and services, are key ingredients for success, as well as a new agenda for industry-relevant skills and standardisation.

Bringing together activities on digital, key enabling and space technologies, as well as a sustainable supply of raw materials, will allow for a more systemic approach, and a faster and more profound digital and industrial transformation. It will ensure that research and innovation in these areas feed into, and contribute to the implementation of, the EU’s policies for industry, digitisation, environment, energy and climate, circular economy, raw and advanced materials and space.

Complementarity will be ensured with activities in particular under the Digital Europe Programme and the Space Programme, while respecting the delineation between Programmes and avoiding overlaps.

Activities will contribute directly to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in particular: SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth; SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production; SDG-13 Climate Action.

4.2.  Areas of Intervention

4.2.1.  Manufacturing Technologies

Manufacturing is a key driver of employment and prosperity in the EU, producing over three quarters of the EU's global exports and providing over a 100 million direct and indirect jobs. The key challenge for EU manufacturing is to remain competitive at a global level with smarter and more customised products of high added value, produced at much lower energy and material resource costs as well as with a reduced carbon and environmental footprint. Creative and cultural inputs as well as perspectives from social sciences and humanities on the relation between technology and people in production will be vital to help generate added value. The impact on work life and employment will be studied as well.

Broad Lines

–  Breakthrough manufacturing technologies such as biotechnological production, additive manufacturing, industrial, collaborative, flexible and intelligent robotics, human integrated manufacturing systems, also promoted via an EU network of industrially-oriented infrastructures, which provide services to accelerate technological transformation and uptake by EU industry;

–  Breakthrough innovations using different enabling technologies across the value chain. Examples are converging technologies, artificial intelligence, digital twin, data analytics, control technologies, sensor technologies, industrial, collaborative and intelligent robotics, human-centered systems, biotechnological production , advanced batteries and hydrogen, including renewable based hydrogen, and fuel cell technologies, advanced plasma and laser technologies;

–  Skills, workspaces and businesses fully adapted to the new technologies, in line with European social values;

–  Flexible, high-precision, zero-defect, low-pollution and -waste, sustainable and climate-neutral cognitive plants, in line with the circular economy approach, smart, and energy efficient manufacturing systems meeting customer needs;

–  Breakthrough innovations in techniques for exploring construction sites, for full automation for on-site assembly and prefabricated components.

4.2.2.  Key Digital Technologies

Maintaining and autonomously developing strong design and production capacities in essential digital technologies such as micro- and nano-electronics, microsystems, photonics, software and cyber-physical systems, and their integration as well as advanced materials for these applications will be essential for a competitive citizen-centered and social EU.

Broad Lines

–  Micro- and nano-electronics, including design and processing concepts, components and manufacturing equipment responding to the specific requirements of digital transformation and global challenges, in terms of performance functionality, energy and material consumption and integration;

–  Efficient and secure sensing and actuating technologies and their co-integration with computational units as the enabler of industry and the Internet of Things, including innovative solutions on flexible and conformable materials for human-friendly interacting objects;

–  Technologies as complements or alternatives to nano-electronics, such as integrated quantum computing, transmission and sensing as well as neuromorphic computing components and spintronics;

–  Computing architectures and accelerators, low-power processors for a wide range of applications including neuromorphic computing powering artificial intelligence applications, edge computing, digitisation of industry, big data and cloud computing, smart energy and connected and automated mobility;

–  Computing hardware designs delivering strong guarantees of trusted execution, with built-in privacy and security protection measures for input/output data, quantum computing as well as processing instructions and adequate human machine interfaces;

–  Photonics technologies enabling applications with breakthrough advances in functionality, integration and performance;

–  System and control engineering technologies to support flexible, evolvable and fully autonomous systems for trustworthy applications interacting with the physical world and humans, including in industrial and safety critical domains;

–  Software technologies enhancing software quality, cybersecurity and reliability with improved service life, increasing development productivity, and introducing built-in artificial intelligence and resilience in software and their architecture;

–  Emerging technologies expanding digital technologies.

4.2.3  Emerging enabling technologies

Key Enabling Technologies have demonstrated their potential to stimulate innovation in and across many sectors(16). To facilitate the development of new enabling technologies and feed the innovation pipeline, transformative research themes must be identified and supported from an early exploratory stage to demonstrations in pilot applications. Furthermore, emerging, often interdisciplinary, communities need to be assisted to reach the critical mass enabling them to systematically develop and mature promising technologies. The goal is to bring emerging enabling technologies to levels of maturity that allow inclusion into industrial research and innovation roadmaps.

Broad lines

–  support for future and emerging trends in key enabling technologies;

–  support for emerging communities involving a human centered-approach from the outset;

–  assessing the disruptive potential of new emerging industrial technologies, and their impact on people, industry, society and the environment, building interfaces with industrial roadmaps;

–  broaden the industrial basis for adopting technologies and innovation with breakthrough potential, including development of human resources and in the global context.

4.2.4.  Advanced Materials

The EU is a global leader in advanced materials and associated processes, which make up 20% of its industry base and form the root of nearly all value chains through the transformation of raw materials. To remain competitive and meet citizens’ needs for sustainable, safe and advanced materials, the EU must invest in research for novel materials, including bio-based ones and resource efficient innovative building materials, and must improve the durability and recyclability of materials, reduce the carbon and environmental footprint, and drive cross-sectoral industrial innovation by supporting new applications in all industry sectors. Furthermore, advanced materials have a tremendous impact regarding citizens’ needs.

Broad Lines

–  Materials (including polymers, bio-, nano-, two-dimensional, smart and multi-materials (including lignocelluloses), composites, metals and alloys) and advanced materials (e.g. quantum, responsive, photonic and superconducting materials) designed with new properties and functionalisation and meeting regulatory requirements (while not leading to increased environmental pressures during their whole life-cycle, from production to use or end-of-life);

–  Integrated materials processes and production following a customer-oriented and ethical approach, including pre-normative activities and life-cycle assessment, sourcing and management of raw materials, durability, reusability and recyclability, safety, risk assessment for human health and environment and risk management;

–  Advanced materials enablers like characterisation (e.g. for quality assurance), modelling and simulation, piloting and upscaling;

–  An EU innovation ecosystem of technology infrastructures(17), networked and accessible to all relevant stakeholders, identified and prioritised in agreement with Member States, which provide services to accelerate technological transformation and uptake by EU industry, notably by SMEs; this will cover all key technologies necessary to enable innovations in the field of materials;

–  Solutions based on advanced materials for cultural heritage, design, architecture and general creativity, with a strong user orientation, for adding value to industrial sectors and the creative industries.

4.2.5.  Artificial Intelligence and Robotics

Making any object and device intelligent and connected is one of the megatrends. Researchers and innovators developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and offering applications in Robotics and other areas will be key drivers of future economic and productivity growth. Many sectors including health, manufacturing, ship-building, construction, service industries and farming will use and further develop this key enabling technology, in other parts of the Framework Programme. AI developments must be conducted openly across the EU, ensure the safety, the societal and environmental soundness of AI-based applications, consider ethical aspects from the outset, assess the risks and mitigate its potential for malicious use and unintended discrimination such as gender, racial or disability bias. It must also be ensured that AI is developed within a well-coordinated framework which respects the EU's values, ethical principles and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. This Programme will be complemented by activities set out under the Digital Europe Programme.

Broad Lines

–  Enabling AI technologies such as explainable AI, ethical AI, human-controlled AI, unsupervised machine learning and data efficiency and advanced human-machine and machine-machine interactions;

–  Safe, smart, collaborative and efficient robotics and complex embodied and autonomous systems;

–  Human-centric AI technologies for AI-based solutions;

–  Developing and networking the research competences in the area of AI across Europe under an open collaborative perspective while also developing the capacity for closed testing;

–  The employment of AI and robotics to support people affected by disability, and inclusion of marginalised individuals;

–  Technologies for open AI platforms including software algorithms, data repositories, agent-based systems, robotics and autonomous systems platforms.

4.2.6.  Next Generation Internet

The Internet has become a key enabler of the digital transformation of all sectors of our economy and society. The EU needs to take the lead in driving the next generation Internet towards a human-centric ecosystem in line with our social and ethical values. Investing in technologies and software for the Next Generation Internet will improve EU industrial competitiveness in the global economy. Optimising EU wide take up will require large-scale cooperation across stakeholders. Ethical norms regulating next-generation internet should be also considered.

Broad Lines

–  Technologies and systems for trusted and energy-efficient smart network and service infrastructures (connectivity beyond 5G, software defined infrastructures, Internet of things, systems of systems, cloud infrastructures, next generation optical networks, quantum, cognitive clouds and quantum internet, integration of Satellite Communications), enabling real-time capabilities, virtualisation and decentralised management (ultrafast and flexible radio, edge computing, shared contexts and knowledge) to ensure scalable, efficient, reliable and trustworthy network performance suited for massive service deployment;

–  Next Generation Internet applications and services for consumers, industry and society building on trust, fairness, interoperability, better user control of data, transparent language access, new multi modal interaction concepts, inclusive and highly personalised access to objects, information and content, including immersive and trustworthy media, social media and social networking as well as business models for transactions and services over shared infrastructures;

–  Software-based middleware, including distributed ledger technologies such as blockchains, working in highly distributed environments, facilitating data mapping and data transfer across hybrid infrastructures with inherent data protection, embedding artificial intelligence, data analytics, security and control in Internet applications and services predicated on the free flow of data and knowledge;

4.2.7.  Advanced Computing and Big Data

High Performance Computing and Big Data have become indispensable in the new global data economy, where to out-compute is to out-compete. High Performance Computing and Big Data analytics shall be encouraged throughout the EU and are critical to support policy making, scientific leadership, innovation and industrial competitiveness, and to maintain national sovereignty while respecting ethical issues. These activities will be complemented by activities under the Digital Europe Programme.

Broad Lines

–  High Performance Computing (HPC): next generation of key exascale and post-exascale technologies and systems (e.g. low-power microprocessors, software, system integration); algorithms, codes and applications, and analytic tools and test-beds; industrial pilot test-beds and services; supporting research and innovation for and preferably participation by all the Member States a world-class HPC infrastructure, including the first hybrid HPC/Quantum computing infrastructures and for shared services in the EU;

–  Big Data: Extreme-performance data analytics; "Privacy by design" in the analysis of personal and confidential Big Data; technologies for full-scale data platforms for re-use of industrial, personal and open data; data management, interoperability and linking tools; data applications for global challenges; methods for data science;

–  Reduced carbon footprint of ICT processes, covering hardware, architecture, communication protocols, software, sensors, networks, storage and data centres, and including standardised assessments.

4.2.8.  Circular Industries

Europe is at the forefront of the global transition towards a circular economy. Europe's industry should become a circular industry: the value of resources, materials and products should be maintained much longer compared to today, even opening up new value chains. Engagement of citizens is crucial.

Primary raw materials will continue to play an important role in the circular economy and attention must be paid to their sustainable sourcing, usage and production. Safe and sustainable materials cycles shall be ensured. In addition, entirely new materials, including bio-based materials, products and processes should be designed for circularity. Building a circular industry will have several advantages for Europe: It will lead to a secure, sustainable and affordable supply of raw materials, which will in turn protect the industry against scarcity of resources and price volatility. It will also create new business opportunities and innovative, more resource and energy efficient ways of production. Research and development focused on developing less hazardous substances will be encouraged and stimulated.

The objective is to develop affordable breakthrough innovations and deploy a combination of advanced technologies and processes so as to extract maximum value from all resources.

Broad Lines

–  Industrial symbiosis with resource flows between plants across sectors and urban communities; processes and materials, to transport, transform, re-use and store resources, combining the valorisation of by-products, waste, waste-water and CO2;

–  Valorisation and life-cycle assessment of materials and product streams with use of new alternative feedstocks, resource control, material tracking and sorting (including validated testing methods and tools for risk assessment for human health and environment);

–  Eco-designed products, services and new business models for enhanced life-cycle performance, durability, upgradeability and ease of repair, dismantling, reuse and recycling;

–  Effective recycling industry, maximising potential and safety of secondary materials and minimising pollution (non toxic material cycles), quality downgrading, and quantity dropouts after treatment;

–  Elimination or, if no alternative, safe handling of substances of concern in the production and end-of-life phases; safe substitutes, and safe and cost-efficient production technologies;

–  Sustainable supply and substitution of raw materials, including critical raw materials, covering the whole value chain.

4.2.9.  Low-Carbon and Clean Industries

Industrial sectors, including energy-intensive industries, such as steel, contribute millions of jobs and their competitiveness is key for the prosperity of our societies. However, they account for 20% of the global greenhouse gas emissions and have a high environmental impact (particularly in terms of air, water and soil pollutants).

Breakthrough technologies to achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gases and pollutants and EU’s energy demand, often combined with the technologies for circular industry above, will lead to strong industrial value chains, revolutionise manufacturing capacities and improve the global competitiveness of industry; and at the same time make key contributions to our targets for climate action and environmental quality.

Broad Lines

–  Process technologies, including heating and cooling, digital tools, automation and large-scale demonstrations for process performance and resource and energy efficiency; substantial reductions or avoidance of industrial emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants, including particulate matter;

–  CO2 valorisation from industry and other sectors;

–  Conversion technologies for the sustainable utilization of carbon sources to increase resource efficiency and reduce emissions, including hybrid energy systems for the industry and energy sector with a decarbonisation potential;

–  Electrification and use of unconventional energy sources within industrial plants, and energy and resource exchanges between industrial plants (for instance via industrial symbiosis);

–  Industrial products that require low or zero carbon emissions production processes through the life cycle.

4.2.10.  Space, including Earth Observation

EU space systems and services reduce costs and improve efficiency, offer solutions to societal challenges, increase societal resilience, help monitoring and fighting climate change and foster a competitive and sustainable economy. EU support has been instrumental in helping to realise these benefits and impacts. Research and innovation activities should also support the evolution of the Union Space Programme which must remain at the forefront.

The EU will support synergies between space and key enabling technologies (advanced manufacturing, Internet of Things, big data, photonics, quantum technologies, robotics and artificial intelligence); foster a thriving and entrepreneurial and competitive upstream and downstream space sector, including industry and SMEs; boost application of space technologies, data and services in other sectors and help secure technological non-dependence in accessing and using space in a strategic, safe and secure manner; and will promote capacity building measures. Activities will be generally roadmap-based, taking account of the ESA harmonisation process and relevant Member States initiatives, and will be implemented with ESA and the EU Agency for the Space Programme, in accordance with the Regulation establishing the Space Programme for the European Union. However, the space part will also support bottom up calls to allow the emergence of future space technologies.

There is a need for a wider deployment, exploitation and update of new technologies and continued research and innovation to address gaps in Earth Observation (EO) on land and sea and in the atmosphere (e.g. healthy oceans and seas, ecosystem protection), benefiting from Copernicus and other relevant European programmes as essential sources and coordinating through the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) and its European component EuroGEOSS.

Broad Lines

–  European Global Navigation Satellite Systems (Galileo and EGNOS): innovative applications, global uptake including international partners, solutions improving robustness, authentication, integrity of services, development of fundamental elements such as chipsets, receivers and antennas, sustainability of supply chains, at cost-effective and affordable conditions, new technologies (e.g. quantum technologies, optical links, reprogrammable payloads), towards sustained exploitation of services for impact on societal challenges. Next generation systems development for new challenges such as security or autonomous driving;

–  European Earth Observation system (Copernicus): leveraging the full, free and open data policy, develop innovative applications, European and global uptake, including non-space actors and international partnerships, research needed to maintain, improve and expand core services and research for space data assimilation and exploitation, robustness and evolution of services, sustainability of supply chains, sensors, systems and mission concepts (e.g. High Altitude Platforms, drones, light satellites); calibration and validation; sustained exploitation of services and impact on societal challenges; Earth observation data processing techniques, including big data, computing resources and algorithmic tools. Next generation systems development for challenges, such as climate change, polar and security; extension of the Copernicus product and service portfolio;

–  Space Situational Awareness: developments to support robust EU capacity to monitor and forecast the state of the space environment e.g. space weather, including radiation hazards, space debris and near Earth objects. Developments of sensors technologies and new service concepts, such as space traffic management, applications and services to secure critical infrastructure in space and on Earth;

–  Secure Satellite Communications for EU governmental actors: solutions supporting the EU’s autonomy for governmental users including associated user equipment and architectural, technological and system solutions for space and ground infrastructure;

–  Satellite Communications for citizens and businesses: integration of cost-effective, advanced satellite communications in the terrestrial networks to connect assets and people in underserved areas, as part of 5G-enabled ubiquitous connectivity, Internet of Things (IoT), and contributing to the Next Generation Internet (NGI) infrastructure. Enhancing the ground segment and user equipment, standardisation and interoperability, and preparation of quantum key communication by satellite to ensure EU industrial leadership;

–  Non-dependence and sustainability of the supply chain: increased technology readiness levels in satellites and launchers; associated space and ground segments, and production and testing facilities in complementarity with ESA. To secure EU technological leadership and autonomy, improved supply chain sustainability at cost-effective and affordable conditions, reduced dependence on non-EU critical space technologies and improved knowledge of how space technologies can offer solutions to other industrial sectors and vice-versa;

–  Space systems: in-orbit validation and demonstration services, including rideshare services for light satellites; space demonstrators in areas such as hybrid, smart or reconfigurable satellites, in-orbit servicing, manufacturing and assembly, energy supply using diversified sources; new industrial processes and production tools; ground systems; breakthrough innovations, and technology transfer, in areas such as recycling, green space, sustainable and peaceful use of space resources, artificial intelligence, robotics, digitisation, cost-efficiency, miniaturisation;

–  Access to space: innovative technologies for increasing the technical compatibility and economic efficiency of European space launch systems, with regard to the launch of European Union satellites: low cost production processes, launcher reusability technologies and concepts for cost reduction; concepts for future launcher ground segments and adaptations of existing ground infrastructures (e.g. digitalisation, advanced data management); innovative space transportation services/concepts, including launch systems dedicated to light satellites (e.g. micro launchers), in complementarity with ESA.

–  Space science: exploitation of scientific data delivered by scientific and exploration missions, combined with the development of innovative instruments in an international and interdisciplinary environment; contribution to precursor scientific missions for the evolution of the Space Programme.

5.  CLUSTER 'CLIMATE, ENERGY AND MOBILITY'

5.1.  Rationale

The intersection of research and innovation on climate, energy and mobility will address in a highly integrated and effective way, one of the most important global challenges for the sustainability and future of our environment, economy and way of life.

To meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement the EU will need to transition to climate neutral, resource-efficient and resilient economies and societies. This will entail profound changes in technology, processes, products and services, to the ways in which businesses and consumers behave. The transformation of the energy market will take place through interaction of technology, infrastructure, the market as well as policy and regulatory frameworks, including new forms of governance. Pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C, requires rapid progress in decarbonising the energy, transport, buildings, industrial and agriculture sectors. New impetus is needed to accelerate the pace of developing next-generation breakthroughs as well as demonstrating and deploying cost-efficient innovative technologies and solutions, using also the opportunities provided by digital, bio and space technologies, as well as key enabling technologies and advanced materials. This will be pursued through an integrated approach encompassing decarbonisation, resource efficiency, improved recovery, reuse and recycling, reduction of air pollution, access to raw materials and circular economy in Horizon Europe.

Progress in these sectors - but also across the spectrum of EU industry including energy infrastructures, transport, agriculture and forestry, tourism, buildings, industrial processes and product use, waste management and recycling(18) - will require continued efforts to better understand the mechanisms and dynamics of climate change and the associated impacts across the economy and society, exploiting synergies with regional and national activities, other EU types of actions and international cooperation, including through Mission Innovation.

Over the past decades, considerable advances have been made in climate science, in particular in observations and data assimilation and climate modelling. However, the complexity of the climate-system and the need to support implementation of the Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals and EU policies necessitate a reinforced effort to fill the remaining knowledge gaps, further enhance spatial and temporal granularity of climate science while ensuring adequate interaction with citizens and other stakeholders.

The EU has established a comprehensive policy framework in the Energy Union strategy, with binding targets, legislative acts and research and innovation activities aiming to lead in developing and deploying efficient energy production systems based on renewable and alternative energy(19).

Transport, including vehicles, ensures the mobility of people and goods necessary for an integrated European single market, territorial cohesion and an open and inclusive society. At the same time, transport can have significant effects on human health, congestion, land, water, climate, air quality and noise, as well as safety resulting in numerous premature deaths and increased socio-economic costs. Demand for goods and mobility will continue to grow. Therefore, innovation will have to bridge growing demand with cleaner and more efficient mobility and transport systems that need to be also safe, smart, secure, silent, reliable, accessible, inclusive and affordable, offering a seamless integrated door-to-door service to all.

Both sectors are major drivers of Europe’s economic competitiveness and growth. Transport is a fundamental sector for and of the economy with the EU being a world leader in vehicle, rail, aircraft and vessel design and manufacturing. It embraces a complex network of around 1.2 million private and public companies in the EU, employing around 10.5 million people. The sector is also important for the EU's international trade: in 2016, 17.2% of the EU's total exports of services were transport related. At the same time, the EU has upwards of 2 million people working in the field of renewables and energy efficiency, while patenting of innovative clean energy technologies, places the EU in second place worldwide.

The issues faced by the energy and transport sectors go therefore beyond the need for emission reduction. Effective solutions are needed to respond to changes in user behaviour and mobility patterns, globalisation, increasing international competition and an older, more urban and increasingly diverse, population. At the same time, the increasing penetration of digital and space-based technologies, automated vehicles, Artificial Intelligence, robotics, new market entrants, disruptive business models and the need for increased system resilience against multifaceted hazards (including cyber threats) bring substantive transformation and create challenges and opportunities for the competitiveness of the European transport and energy sectors.

Cities' ability to function will become dependent on technology and the liveability of cities will evolve around mobility, energy and resource efficiency, spatial planning and competition in space use. Developments will also be posing a challenge to the sustainability of existing social models and social participation, aspects of inclusion and accessibility as well as affordability.

Finding new ways to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy-based and energy efficient technologies (including through intermediate carriers such as power-to-gas and hydrogen) and other non-technological solutions for the decarbonisation of the European economy requires also increased demand for innovation. This can be stimulated through the empowerment of citizens, greening of public procurement as well as socio-economic and public sector innovation and will lead to approaches broader than technology-driven innovation. Socio-economic research covering inter alia user needs and patterns, foresight activities, environmental, regulatory, economic, social, cultural and behavioural aspects, business cases and models and pre-normative research for standard setting and market uptake innovation, will also facilitate actions fostering regulatory, financing and social innovation, skills, as well as engagement and empowerment of market players, consumers and citizens. A better coordination, complementarity and synergy between national and European research and innovation efforts by promoting information exchange and cooperation among EU countries, industries and research institutions will build on the achievements of e.g. the SET-Plan and the Strategic Transport Research and Innovation Agenda (STRIA). Complementarity between this cluster and the EU ETS Innovation Fund will be ensured.

Activities under this Cluster contribute in particular to the goals of the Energy Union, the Paris Agreement commitments as well as to those of the Digital Single Market, the Jobs, Growth and Investment agenda, the strengthening of the EU as a global actor, the new EU Industrial Policy Strategy, the Bioeconomy Strategy, the Circular Economy Action Plan, the European Battery Alliance Initiative, the Raw Materials Initiative, the Security Union and the Urban Agenda, as well as the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU as well as EU legal provisions to reduce noise and air pollution.

Activities will contribute directly to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in particular: SDG 6 - Clean water and sanitation; SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy; SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production; SDG 13 - Climate Action.

5.2.  Areas of Intervention

5.2.1.  Climate Science and Solutions

Effective implementation of the Paris Agreement has to be based on science, requiring continuously improving of our knowledge on the climate-earth system, as well as the mitigation and adaptations options available, allowing for a systemic and comprehensive picture of challenges and climate-responsible opportunities for the EU's economy and society. On this basis, science-based solutions for a cost-effective transition to a climate neutral, climate-resilient and resource-efficient society will be developed, considering behavioural, regulatory, socio-economic and governance aspects.

Broad Lines

–  Knowledge base on the current functioning and future evolution of the earth-climate and living system, as well as associated impacts, risks, and climate-responsible opportunities; effectiveness of different climate mitigation and adaptation solutions;

–  Integrated climate neutral pathways, mitigation actions and policies covering all sectors of the economy, compatible with Earth system analyses, the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals;

–  Climate models, projections and techniques aiming to improve predictive capacity and climate services for businesses, public authorities and citizens, including cross-cutting aspects with air quality improvement;

–  Adaptation pathways and support policies for vulnerable ecosystems, urban areas, critical economic sectors and infrastructure in the EU (local/regional/national), including improved risk assessment tools; water cycle and adaptation to climate change, such as flooding and water scarcity

5.2.2.  Energy Supply

The EU aims to be world leader in affordable, secure and sustainable energy technologies improving its competitiveness in global value chains and its position in growth markets. Diverse climatic, geographical, environmental and socio-economic conditions in the EU as well as the need to ensure climate resilience, energy security and access to raw materials, dictate a broad portfolio of energy solutions, including of non-technical nature. As regards renewable energy technologies, costs need to decrease further, performance must improve, integration into the energy system must be improved, breakthrough technologies need to be developed, benefiting also from advances in photonics, and hybrid solutions (e.g. for desalination) should be explored. As regards fossil fuels, decarbonising their usage is essential to meet the climate objectives.

Broad Lines

–  Renewable energy and energy conservation technologies and solutions for power generation, heating and cooling, sustainable transport fuels and intermediate carriers, at various scales and development stages, adapted to geographic and socio-economic conditions and markets, both within the EU and worldwide;

–  Disruptive renewable energy technologies for both existing and new applications and for breakthrough solutions including their environmental, economic and social impact;

–  Technologies and solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel-based as well as from bio- and waste-to-energy-based approaches producing power, heating, cooling or biofuels including via carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) and studies of socio-economic and ecological feasibility.

5.2.3.  Energy Systems and Grids

The expected growth of variable electricity production and shift towards more electric heating, cooling and transport dictates the need for new approaches to manage energy grids. Next to decarbonisation, the goal is to ensure energy affordability, security, climate resilience, and stability of supply, achieved through investments in innovative network infrastructure technologies, increased flexibility of dispatchable power generation, notably from renewable sources and innovative system management as well as by facilitating actions fostering regulatory and social innovation, skills, and engaging and empowering market players, consumers and communities. Energy storage in different forms will play a key role in providing services to the grid, also improving and reinforcing network capacities and system flexibility. Exploiting synergies between different networks (e.g. electricity grids, heating and cooling networks, gas networks, transport recharging and refuelling infrastructure, hydrogen, including its infrastructure, and telecom networks) and actors (e.g. industrial sites, network operators, data centres, self-producers, consumers, renewable energy communities) as well as demand-response and developing and integrating European and international standards will be crucial for enabling the smart, integrated operation of the relevant infrastructures.

Broad Lines

–  Technologies and tools for networks to integrate renewables, storage solutions and new loads such as electro-mobility and heat pumps as well as the electrification of industrial processes;

–  Multidisciplinary approaches to regionally dependent climate change related impact to energy security, including adaptation of existing technologies, as well as transition into the new energy supply paradigms;

–  Pan-European energy network approaches to reliable energy supply, transmission and distribution;

–  Integrated approaches to match renewable energy production and consumption at local level including on islands or remote regions, based on new services and community initiatives;

–  Generation and network flexibility, interoperability and synergies between the different energy sources, networks, infrastructures and actors, also exploiting specific technologies;

–  Technologies, services and solutions empowering consumer to be an active market player.

5.2.4.  Buildings and Industrial Facilities in Energy Transition

Buildings and industry installations play an increasingly active role in their interaction with the energy system. Therefore, they are crucial elements in the transition to a carbon-neutral society based on renewable energy and increased energy efficiency.

Buildings are an important factor for quality of life of citizens. Integrating different technologies, appliances and systems and linking various energy uses, buildings as well as their inhabitants and users represent a very high potential for climate change mitigation, energy generation, energy savings, storage, system flexibility and efficiency improvements.

Industries, and especially those that are energy-intensive, could further improve energy efficiency, reduce their energy consumption and favour the integration of renewable energy sources. Industrial facilities’ role in the energy system is changing, due to the need to reduce emissions, based on direct or indirect electrification, also a source of materials for production processes (e.g. hydrogen). Industrial and manufacturing complexes where many different processes take place near to each other can optimise the exchange of flows of energy and other resources (raw materials) between them.

Broad Lines

–  Improve sector coupling : Processes, systems and business models supporting flexibility and efficiency of electricity and heat flows between an industrial plant or industrial clusters and the energy as well as transport system;

–  Tools and infrastructure for process control of production plants to optimise energy flows and materials in interaction with the energy system;

–  Relevant processes, design and materials, including low- and zero- emission industrial processes;

–  Flexibility and efficiency of electricity, feedstock and heat in industrial plants and the energy system;

–  Improved or new processes, design and materials to efficiently use, produce or store energy (including heat and cold) in sectors not covered by the “Digital, Industry and Space” cluster;

–  Strategies and low emission technologies for revitalising coal- and carbon-intensive areas in transition;

–  Smart buildings and large mobility hubs (ports, airports, logistic centres) as active elements of wider energy networks and of innovative mobility solutions;

–  Buildings life-cycle design, construction, operation, including heating and cooling, and dismantling, taking into account circularity, energy and environmental performance, as well as indoor environmental quality, for energy and resource efficiency, for well-being and health impact on the inhabitants, climate resilience, carbon footprint and recycling; development and optimization of novel advanced materials to increase the energy, carbon and environmental performances of buildings over the life cycle;

–  New business models, approaches and services for renovation financing, enhancement of construction skills, engagement of buildings occupants and other market actors, addressing energy poverty and prenormative activities;

–  Energy performance of buildings monitoring and control technologies for optimising energy consumption and production of building as well as their interaction with the overall energy system;

–  Tools and smart appliances for energy efficiency gains in buildings;

–  Renovation processes of existing buildings towards 'Nearly Zero Energy Buildings' and innovative technologies, including social aspects, e.g. citizen empowerment, and consumer awareness and engagement.

5.2.5.  Communities and Cities

It is estimated that by 2050, more than 80% of the EU's population will live in urban areas, consuming the lion's share of available resources, including energy, and being areas particularly vulnerable to the adverse meteorological change impacts worsen by climate change and natural disasters already now and increasingly in the future. A key challenge is to significantly increase the overall energy and resource efficiency as well as climate-resilience of Europe's communities and cities in a systematic and holistic approach, targeting the building stock, energy systems, mobility, climate change, migration, as well as water, soil, air quality, waste and noise, taking into account Europe's cultural heritage, sustainable tourism management, social sciences, humanities and arts aspects, including lifestyle. Synergies with ERDF-funded urban policy and actions should be investigated and exploited.

Broad Lines

–  City/district energy/mobility systems towards the EU-wide deployment of carbon neutral, Positive Energy Districts and zero-emission mobility and logistics by 2050, boosting the global competitiveness of integrated EU solutions;

–  Systemic urban planning, infrastructures systems and services including mutual interfaces and interoperability, standardisation, nature-based solutions and the use of digital technologies and space based services and data, taking into account the effects of projected climate change and integrate climate resilience and the influence on air and water quality;

–  Quality of life for the citizens, safe, flexible, accessible and affordable energy and multi-modal mobility, urban social innovation and citizen engagement, cities' circular and regenerative capacity, urban metabolism and reduced environmental footprint and pollution;

–  Global cities research agenda; mitigation, adaptation and resilience strategy development, spatial planning and other relevant planning processes.

5.2.6.  Industrial Competitiveness in Transport

The shift towards clean technologies, connectivity and automation will depend on the timely design and manufacture of aircraft, vehicles, and vessels developing new breakthrough technologies and concepts, integrating different technologies and accelerating their introduction and marketability. Increasing comfort, efficiency, affordability, while minimising lifecycle impact on the environment, human health and on energy use remain objectives of paramount importance. Innovative, highly capable transport infrastructure is essential for the proper functioning of all transport modes in view of increased mobility demand and rapidly changing technology regimes. An integrated approach to infrastructure and vehicle/vessel/aircraft development deserves particular attention also in order to provide high quality mobility services and to minimise energy environmental, economic and social impact.

Broad Lines

–  Merging of physical and digital vehicle/vessel/aircraft design, development and demonstration, manufacturing, operations, standardisation, certification and regulations and integration (including integration between digital design and digital manufacturing);

–  Vehicle/vessel/aircraft concepts and designs, including their spare parts and software and technology updates, software solutions; using improved materials and structures, recycling/reusing materials; efficiency, energy storage and recovery, safety and security features considering users’ needs, with less impact on climate, environment and health, including noise and air quality;

–  On-board technologies and sub-systems, including automated functions, for all modes of transport taking account of relevant infrastructure interface needs and exploring; technological synergies between modes; multi-modal transport systems; safety/accidence avoidance systems and enhancing cybersecurity; leveraging progress in information technologies, and in artificial intelligence; developing the human-machine interface;

–  New materials, techniques and methods of construction, operations and maintenance of infrastructures, ensuring reliable network availability, intermodal interfaces and multimodal interoperability, workforce safety, and full life-cycle approach;

–  Addressing issues of merging physical and digital infrastructure design and development, infrastructure maintenance, regeneration and upgrading transport integration, interoperability and intermodality, resilience to extreme weather events, including adaptation to climate change.

5.2.7.  Clean, Safe and Accessible Transport and Mobility

For the EU to reach its air quality, climate, and energy goals, including reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 as well as noise reduction, will require rethinking the whole mobility system including users’ needs and behaviours, vehicles, fuels, infrastructures as well as new mobility solutions. It will also require the deployment of low-emission alternative energies and market uptake of zero-emission vehicles/vessels/aircrafts. In addition to the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, transport contributes significantly to poor air quality and noise in Europe with negative consequences for the health of citizens and ecosystems. Building on progress with electrification and the use of batteries and fuel cells for cars, buses and light duty vehicles, accompanied by adequate standards, it is essential to accelerate research and innovation low-emission solutions for other road applications (long distance coaches, heavy freight vehicles and lorries) and other transport sectors such as aviation, rail, maritime and inland navigation. Transport safety research aims at reducing accident rates, fatalities and casualties in each mode and in the whole transport system by furthering knowledge and awareness and by developing technologies, products services and solutions that reconcile safety, efficiency, user-friendliness and climate change.

Broad Lines

–  Electrification of all transport modes including new battery, fuel cell and hybrid technologies for vehicle/vessel/aircraft powertrains and auxiliary systems, fast charging/refuelling, energy harvesting and user-friendly and easily accessible interfaces with the charging/refuelling infrastructure, ensuring interoperability and seamless services provision; development and deployment of competitive, safe, high-performing and sustainable batteries for low and zero-emission vehicles considering all the conditions of using and during the different phases of its life cycle; development and deployment of competitive, safe, high-performing and sustainable batteries for low and zero-emission vehicles;

–  Use of new and alternative sustainable fuels, including advanced bio-fuels and new, safe and smart vehicles/vessels/aircraft for existing and future mobility patterns and supporting infrastructure with reduced impact on the environment and public health; niche components and systems for environmentally friendly solutions (e.g. advanced data gathering systems, etc.) technologies and user-based solutions for interoperability and seamless services provision;

–  Safe, accessible, inclusive and affordable mobility, reducing the harmful whilst enhancing the positive impact of mobility on social cohesion, the environment and human health, including shift to less polluting modes of transport and sharing schemes; Quality of life for the citizens, urban social innovation; the interest to reduce or to eliminate accidents and injuries in road transport.

–  Climate resilient mobility systems, including infrastructures and logistics, to assure better connectivity for persons and goods, both on short and long haul distances;

–  Systemic analysis of new mobility patterns and their impact on transport and citizens.

5.2.8.  Smart Mobility

Smart mobility will help ensure the efficiency, safety and resilience of door-to-door mobility and all its components, in particular by using digital technologies, advanced satellite navigation (EGNOS/Galileo), and artificial intelligence. New technologies will help to optimise the use and efficiency of transport infrastructure and networks, improving multi-modality and connectivity and creating more efficient freight transport and logistic supply chain that will strengthen EU competitiveness. New technologies will also contribute to increasing reliability, optimising traffic management and enable innovative transport solutions and services, thus reducing congestion and negative environmental impacts, providing better mobility and logistics services for citizens and businesses improving accessibility and social inclusion. Connected and automated mobility together with the enabling infrastructure will improve efficiency and safety in all transport modes.

Broad Lines

–  Digital network-and traffic management: advanced decision support systems; next generation traffic management (including multi-modal network and traffic management); contributing to seamless, multimodal and interconnected mobility for passengers and freight; use and limitations of big data; use of innovative satellite positioning/navigation (EGNOS/Galileo);

–  Single European Sky: on-board and on-the-ground solutions for simultaneously higher degrees of automation, connectivity, safety, interoperability, performance, emission reduction and service;

–  Rail technologies and operations for a high-capacity, silent, interoperable, and automated railway system;

–  Smart shipping solutions for safer, more efficient waterborne operations;

–  Large mobility hubs (e.g. railway stations, ports, airports, logistic centres) as active elements of innovative mobility solutions;

–  Waterborne technologies and operations for safe and automated transport systems seizing the opportunities provided by waterborne transport;

–  Connected, cooperative, interoperable and automated mobility systems and services, including technological solutions and non-technological issues, such as changes in user behaviour and mobility patterns.

5.2.9.  Energy Storage

Massive, smart, concentrated and decentralised storage solutions (comprising chemical, electrochemical, electrical, mechanical and thermal and new disruptive technologies) for the energy system will increase efficiency, flexibility, technology independence and accessibility as well as the security of supply. Low-emission, decarbonised transport will require a growing share of electrical and/or other alternatively fuelled vehicles, with better-performing and cheaper, lighter, highly recyclable and reusable batteries with a low environmental impact, as well as local provision of alternative/renewable fuels such as hydrogen, including renewable based hydrogen, and innovative solutions for on-site storage. Options for the sustainable and cost efficient large scale energy storage solutions are essential to optimize and balance the energy system in all sectors of production, infrastructure up to end-user applications. Attention should be paid to the risks of energy storage and other unwanted side effects.

Broad Lines

–  Technologies including liquid and gaseous renewable fuels and their associated value chains, as well as disruptive technologies, for daily to seasonal energy storage needs, including their impacts on the environment and climate;

–  Smart, sustainable and durable batteries and the EU value chain, including the use of advanced material solutions, design, energy-efficient large-scale battery cell production technologies, reuse and recycling methods as well as efficient operation at low temperatures and standardisation needs;

–  Hydrogen, in particular low carbon and renewable based hydrogen, including fuel cells, and the EU value chain from the design to end use across various applications.

6.  CLUSTER ' FOOD, BIOECONOMY, NATURAL RESOURCES, AGRICULTURE AND ENVIRONMENT'

6.1.  Rationale

Human activities are exerting increasing pressure on soils, seas and oceans, water, air, biodiversity and other natural resources. Nourishing the planet's growing human population is directly dependent on the health of natural systems and resources. Beyond its intrinsic value, a functioning and prosperous ecosystem is the very basis for all resources utilisation. However, combined with climate change, humankind's growing demand for natural resources creates environmental pressures that go far beyond sustainable levels, affecting ecosystems and their capacity to provide services for human well-being. The concepts of the circular economy, the sustainable bioeconomy(20) and the blue economy(21) provide an opportunity to balance environmental, social and economic goals and to set human activities on a path to sustainability.

Meeting the goals of sustainable development, guaranteeing the production and consumption of safe and healthy food, promoting sustainable practices in agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries and forestry, ensuring access to clean water, soil and air for all, cleaning up seas, oceans and inland waters preserving and restoring the planet’s vital natural systems and environment requires that we harness the potential of research and innovation. But the pathways for the transition to sustainability and ways to overcome resilient barriers are hardly understood. Making the transition to sustainable consumption and production and restoring planetary health requires investment in research and technologies, novel, high quality products and services, new business models, and social, territorial and environmental innovations. This creates new opportunities for a sustainable, resilient, innovative and responsible European bioeconomy, boosting resource efficiency, productivity and competitiveness, generating new and green jobs and growth and increasing social inclusion.

It is essential for Europe to use its natural resources more efficiently and in a sustainable manner.

Activities will build a knowledge base and deliver solutions to: protect, sustainably manage and use natural resources from land and sea(22) - and enhance the role of terrestrial and aquatic systems as carbon sinks; protect biodiversity, secure ecosystem services and ensure food and nutrition security, providing safe, healthy and nutritious diets; accelerate the transition from a fossil-based linear economy to a resource efficient, resilient, low emission, low-carbon circular economy, and supporting the development of a sustainable bioeconomy and the blue economy; and develop resilient and vibrant rural, mountain, coastal and urban areas.

These activities will help to maintain and enhance biodiversity and secure the long-term provision of ecosystem services, such as climate change adaptation and mitigation and carbon sequestration (both on land and sea). They will help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) and other emissions, waste and pollution from primary production (both terrestrial and aquatic), the use of hazardous substances, processing, consumption and other human activities. They will trigger investments, supporting the shift towards a circular economy, sustainable bioeconomy and blue economy, whilst protecting environmental health and integrity.

Activities will also foster participatory approaches to research and innovation, including the multi-actor approach and develop knowledge and innovation systems at local, regional, national and European levels. Social innovation with citizens' engagement and trust in innovation will be crucial to encourage new governance, production, consumption patterns and skills.

As these challenges are complex, interlinked and global in nature, activities will follow a systemic approach, cooperating with Member States and international partners, with other funding sources and with other policy initiatives. This will involve user-driven exploitation of environmental big data sources, such as those from Copernicus, EGNOS/Galileo, INSPIRE, EOSC, GEOSS, CEOS, EMODnet.

Research and innovation activities under this Cluster contribute in particular to the implementation of the goals of: the Environment Action Programme, the Common Agricultural Policy, the Common Fisheries policy, the Food Law legislation, the Maritime policy, the Circular Economy Action Plan, the EU Bioeconomy Strategy, the Biodiversity Strategy, the 2030 climate and energy framework and the EU 2050 long term vision for carbon neutrality(23), EU Arctic Policy as well as EU legal provisions to reduce air pollution. Beyond the general sources of external advice, specific consultations would be sought from Standing Committee on Agricultural Research (SCAR).

Activities will contribute directly to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in particular: SDG 2 – Zero Hunger; SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being; SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation; SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth; SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure; SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production; SDG 13 – Climate Action; SDG 14 – Life Below Water; SDG 15 - Life on Land.

6.2.  Areas of intervention

6.2.1.  Environmental Observation

The capacity to observe the environment(24), including space-based, in-situ-based (air, sea, land) observation, and citizen observations underpins research and innovation for the sustainable use and monitoring of food and natural resources, biomonitoring and environmental monitoring. Improved spatio-temporal coverage and sampling intervals at reduced cost, as well as big data access and integration from multiple sources provide new ways to monitor, understand and predict the Earth system. Research and innovation is needed to develop methods and technologies to improve quality as well as facilitate access and use of data.

Broad Lines

–  User driven and systemic approaches including open data, to environmental data and information for complex modelling and predictive systems, business opportunities from exploitation and valorisation of existing and new data;

–  Further development of products and services portfolio for environmental observations;

–  Biodiversity status, ecosystem protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation, food security, agriculture and forestry, land use and land use change, urban and peri-urban development, natural resources management, sea and ocean resources management and conservation, maritime security, long term environmental trends, changes in seasonal variability, ambient air and atmospheric changes and other relevant domains;

–  User oriented applications, to be delivered through the EuroGEOSS initiative, including their up scaling, to contribute to the preservation and management of European natural resources (including exploration of raw materials) and ecosystems services and their related value chain;

–  Implementation of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems of the GEO (Group on Earth Observations) initiative.

6.2.2.  Biodiversity and Natural Resources

Improved understanding, preservation and management of biodiversity and ecosystems, the multiple services they provide (in a context of combatting climate change and mitigating its impacts) and planetary 'boundaries' as well as solutions harnessing nature’s power and complexity is needed to address societal challenges, to enhance sustainability and to attain the EU objective of 'Living well within the limits of our planet' by 2050 as laid down in the 7th EU Environmental Action Programme. Due account must be taken of potential upstream impacts throughout whole value chains. International cooperation and contribution to international efforts and initiatives, such as the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), are essential to achieve the objectives in this area. There is a need to better understand the governance of the transition to sustainability in the economic, social and natural system, from the local to the global level.

Broad Lines

–  The state and value of biodiversity, terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems, natural capital and ecosystem services, including agro-ecosystems and the microbiome;

–  Holistic and systemic approaches within a socio-ecological framework for the links between biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystems services and their causality relationships with drivers of change, across different scales and economic activities, including the socio economic aspects and governance of transition processes to sustainability;

–  Modelling of trends and integrated scenarios for biodiversity, ecosystem services and good quality of life at different scales and horizons; the potential contribution of biotopes and ecosystems as carbon sinks under various climate change scenarios; potential conflicts of interests in utilization of natural resources and services;

–  Ecotoxicology of compounds and new pollutants, their interactions, including combination effects, and environmental behaviour, and altered biochemical loops under changing climate, restoration of degraded areas;

–  Mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem services in decision-making frameworks and accounting systems of governments and businesses, as well as quantification of ecological, economic and societal benefits;

–  Adaptable and multi-functional nature-based solutions, addressing challenges in urban and peri-urban areas, rural and coastal and mountain areas related to climate change, natural disasters, biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation, pollution, social cohesion and citizens’ health and well-being;

–  Multi-actor living labs approaches engaging authorities, stakeholders, business and civil society in co-designing and co-creating systemic solutions for the preservation, restoration and sustainable use of natural capital, and the governance of the transition to sustainability and sustainable management options in economic activities throughout whole value loops in different environmental, economic and social conditions.

6.2.3.  Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Areas

Resilient and sustainable agriculture and forestry provide economic, environmental and social benefits and is a prerequisite for continued food security. They feed into dynamic value chains, manage land and natural resources as well as deliver a range of vital public goods including carbon sequestration, biodiversity preservation, pollination and public health. Integrated and place-based approaches are needed to promote the multiple functions of agro- and forest (eco)systems taking into account the changing context for primary production, notably in relation to climate change and environment, resource availability, demography and consumption patterns. Quality and safety of agricultural products shall be ensured to enhance consumer confidence. Plant health and animal health and welfare shall also be ensured. It is also necessary to address the spatial, socio-economic and cultural dimension of agriculture and forestry activities and mobilise the potential of rural and coastal areas.

Broad Lines

–  Methods, technologies and tools for sustainable, resilient and productive agriculture and forestry, including adaptation to climate change;

–  Sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources (e.g. soils, water, nutrients and biodiversity including genetic resources) in agriculture and forestry; alternatives to non-renewable resources and adoption of circular economy principles, including through the reuse and recycling of waste and by-products;

–  Climate and environmental impact of activities in the primary sector; potential of agriculture and forestry as carbon sinks and for mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions including negative emission approaches; increasing adaptability of primary production to climate change;

–  Integrated approaches to tackling plant pests and diseases; control of contagious and zoonotic animal diseases and animal welfare; prevention strategies, control and diagnostic and alternatives to the use of contentious pesticides, antibiotics and other substances also to tackle resistance;

–  Antimicrobial resistance and threats from biological and agrochemical hazards, including pesticides, as well as chemical contaminants tackling the links between plant, animal , ecosystems and public health from One-Health and Global-Health perspectives;

–  The use and delivery of ecosystem services in agriculture and forestry systems applying ecological approaches and testing nature-based solutions from farm to landscape levels for an environmentally friendly agriculture; support to organic farming;

–  Agricultural and forestry systems from farm to landscape levels; the use and delivery of ecosystem services in primary production, e.g. through agro-ecology or through enhancing the role of forests in the prevention of floods and soil erosion;

–  Innovations in farming at the interfaces between agriculture, aquaculture, forestry and in urban and peri-urban areas;

–  New methods, technologies and tools for sustainable forest management and sustainable use of forest biomass;

–  Support to EU plant protein production for food, feed and environmental services;

–  Sustainable land use, rural development and territorial linkages; capitalising on the social, cultural, economic and environmental assets of rural areas for new services, business models, value chains and public goods;

–  Digital innovations in farming, forestry and across value chains and rural areas through the use of data and development of infrastructures, technologies (such as AI, robotics, precision farming and remote sensing) and governance models;

–  Agricultural and forestry knowledge and innovation systems and their interconnection at various scales; advice, building skills, participatory approaches and information sharing;

–  Fostering international partnerships for sustainable agriculture for food and nutrition security.

6.2.4.  Seas, Oceans and Inland Waters

The natural capital and ecosystem services of seas, in particular of semi-closed European seas, oceans, inland waters and wider coastal areas offer significant socio-economic and welfare benefits. This potential is at risk because of the severe pressure from human and natural stressors such as pollution, overfishing, climate change, sea-level rise, other water-use and extreme weather events. To prevent seas, oceans from reaching a point of no return, and to restore a good status of inland waters; it is necessary to strengthen our knowledge and understanding in order to protect, restore and sustainably manage marine, inland and coastal ecosystems and prevent pollution, in a context of an improved and responsible governance framework. This will also include research to sustainably unlock the vast and unexploited economic potential of seas, oceans and inland waters aiming at producing more safe food, bio-based ingredients and raw material without increasing pressures on them, as well as the potential of aquaculture in all forms to alleviate pressure on land, freshwater and ocean resources. There is a need for partnering approaches, including sea basin and macro-regional strategies, extending beyond the EU (e.g. in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, the North Sea, the Black Sea, the Caribbean Sea and the Indian Ocean); and for contributing to International Ocean Governance commitments, initiatives like the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and commitments linked to the conservation of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Broad Lines

–  Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in all forms, including alternative sources of protein with increased food security, food sovereignty and climate resilience; monitoring and management tools;

–  Strengthened resilience of marine and inland water ecosystems, including coral reefs thereby ensuring seas, ocean and river health, combating and mitigating the effects of natural and anthropic pressures like contaminants and marine litter (including plastics), eutrophication, invasive species, physical damage to the sea floor, overexploitation, including overfishing, underwater noise, acidification, seas, oceans and rivers warming, sea level rise, considering the intersection between land and sea, the cumulative impact of these issues and fostering a circular approach and a better understanding of ocean-human interactions;

–  Governance at global and regional levels to ensure conservation and sustainable use of the resources of seas, oceans and inland waters;

–  Technologies for the digital ocean (seafloor, water column and water surface) connecting services and communities in land-based, atmosphere, climate, space and weather related activities, and promoted through the Blue Cloud as part of the European Open Science Cloud;

–  Monitoring, risk-based assessment and predictive/forecasting capacities including sea-level rise and other natural hazards e.g. storms surges, tsunamis as well as cumulative impact of human activities;

–  Improve understanding of the hydrological cycle and regimes, hydromorphology at different scales and develop monitoring and predictive capacities for water availability and demand, floods and droughts, pollution and other pressures on water resources and aquatic environment. Exploit digital technologies to improve water resource monitoring and management;

–  Develop innovative solutions including societal governance, economic instruments and financing models, for smart water allocation addressing conflicts in water use, including exploiting the value in water, control of water pollutants, including plastics and microplastics and other emerging pollutants preferably at source, tackling other pressures on water resources, as well as water reuse, and protection and restoration of water ecosystems to good ecological status;

–  Sustainable blue value-chains, including the sustainable use of fresh water resources, the multiple-use of marine space and growth of the renewable energy sector from seas and oceans, including sustainable use of micro- and macro- algae;

–  Integrated approaches to sustainable management of inland and coastal waters which will contribute to environmental protection and adaptation to climate change;

–  Nature-based solutions derived from marine, coastal and inland water ecosystem dynamics, biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services, which will enable systemic approaches to sustainably use the resources of seas, in particular of semi-closed European seas, and oceans and of inland waters, contribute to environmental protection and restoration, coastal management, and adaptation to climate change;

–  Blue innovation including in the blue and digital economies, across coastline areas, coastal cities and ports in order to strengthen resilience of coastal areas and increase citizens' benefits;

–  Better understanding of the role of seas and oceans in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

6.2.5.  Food Systems

The combined effects of population growth, evolution of diets, resource scarcity and overexploitation, environmental degradation, climate change and migration create unprecedented challenges which require food system transformation (FOOD 2030).(25) Current food production and consumption are largely unsustainable while we are confronted with the double burden of malnutrition, characterised by the coexistence of undernutrition, obesity and other diet imbalances and metabolic disorders. Future food systems need to deliver on food security, and ensure sufficient safe, healthy and quality food for all, underpinned by resource efficiency, sustainability (including the reduction of GHG emissions, pollution, water and energy consumption as well as waste production), transparency, linking land and sea, reducing food waste, enhancing food production from inland waters, seas and oceans and encompassing the entire 'food value chain' from producers to consumers – and back again - ensuring resilience. This needs to go hand in hand with development of the food safety system of the future and the design, development and delivery of tools, technologies and digital solutions that provide significant benefits for consumers and improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the food value chain. Furthermore, there is a need to foster behavioural changes in food consumption and production patterns, taking into account cultural and social aspects, as well as to engage primary producers, industry (including SMEs), retailers, food service sectors, consumers, and public services.

Broad Lines

–  Evidence-based sustainable and healthy diets for people's well-being across their lifespan, including dietary patterns, improved nutritional quality of food and advances in understanding the impact of nutrition on health and well-being;

–  Personalised nutrition especially for vulnerable groups, to mitigate the risk factors for diet-related and non-communicable diseases;

–  Consumers' behaviour, lifestyle and motivations, including social and cultural aspects of food, promoting social innovation and societal engagement for better health and environmental sustainability throughout the entire food value chain, including retail patterns;

–  Modern food safety and authenticity systems, including traceability, improving food quality and enhancing consumer confidence in the food system;

–  Food system mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, including the exploration of the potential and use of the microbiome, of food crop diversity, and of alternative to animal proteins;

–  Environmentally sustainable, circular, resource efficient and resilient food systems, from land and sea, towards safe drinking water and maritime issues, zero food waste throughout the entire food system, through reuse of food and biomass, recycling of food waste, new food packaging, demand for tailored and local food;

–  Novel approaches, including digital tools and food systems for place-based innovation and empowerment of communities, fostering fair trade and pricing along the value chain, inclusiveness and sustainability through partnerships between industry (including SMEs and smallholders), local authorities, researchers and society.

6.2.6.  Bio-based Innovation Systems in the EU Bioeconomy

Innovation in the bioeconomy lays the foundations for the transition away from a fossil-based economy. Bio-based innovation is an important segment and enabler of the overall bioeconomy and encompasses the sustainable sourcing, industrial processing and conversion of biomass from land and sea into bio-based materials and products. Sustainability includes all its dimensions: ecological, social, economic and cultural aspects). It also capitalises on the potential of living resources, life sciences, digitalisation and biotechnologies for new discoveries, products, services and processes. Bio-based innovation, including (bio)processes and technologies, can bring new economic activities and employment to regions and cities, contribute to revitalising rural and coastal economies and communities and strengthen the circularity of the bioeconomy.

Broad Lines

–  Sustainable biomass sourcing, logistics and production systems, focusing on high-value applications and uses, social and environmental sustainability, impact on climate and biodiversity, circularity and overall resource efficiency, including water;

–  Life sciences and their convergence with digital technologies for understanding, prospecting and sustainably using biological resources;

–  Bio-based value chains, bio-based materials, including bio-inspired materials, chemicals, products, services and processes with novel qualities, functionalities and improved sustainability (including reducing emissions of greenhouse gases), fostering the development of (small and large scale) advanced biorefineries using a wider range of biomass; replacing current production of unsustainable products by outperforming biobased solutions for innovative market applications;

–  Biotechnology, including cross sectoral cutting-edge biotechnology, for application in competitive, sustainable and novel industrial processes, environmental services and consumer products(26);

–  Circularity of the bio-based sector within the bioeconomy through technological, systemic, social and business model innovation to radically increase the value generated per unit of biological resource, keeping the value of such resources in the economy for longer, preserving and enhancing natural capital, designing out waste and pollution, supporting the principle of the cascading use of sustainable biomass through research and innovation and taking into account the waste hierarchy;

–  Inclusive bioeconomy patterns with different actors participating in the creation of value, maximising societal impact and public engagement;

–  Increased understanding of the boundaries, metrics and indicators of the bioeconomy and its synergies and trade-offs with a healthy environment, and trade-offs between food and other applications.

6.2.7.  Circular Systems

Circular production and consumption systems will provide benefits to the European economy and global environment by reducing use and dependency on resources, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and other negative environmental impacts and increasing the competitiveness of enterprises, and to European citizens by creating new job opportunities and reducing pressures on the environment and climate. Beyond industrial transformation, the transition to a low-emission, resource efficient, bio-based and circular economy, avoiding the use of hazardous substances will also need a broader system shift that requires systemic eco-innovative solutions, new business models, markets and investments, enabling infrastructure, social innovation changes in consumer behaviour, and governance models stimulating multi-stakeholder collaboration through the whole value chain to ensure that the intended system change achieves better economic, environmental and social outcomes(27). Opening for international cooperation will be important for comparability, generating and sharing knowledge and avoiding duplication of efforts, e.g. through international initiatives such as the International Resource Panel. Also, attention will be given to the social context of new knowledge and technology in this area and for its uptake and acceptance in society.

Broad Lines

–  Systemic transition to a resource-efficient, bio-based and circular economy, with new paradigms in consumer interaction, new business models for resource efficiency and environmental performance; products and services stimulating resource efficiency and elimination or substitution of hazardous substances during the whole lifecycle; systems for sharing, reuse, repair, remanufacturing, recycling and composting; economic, social, behavioural, regulatory and financial conditions and incentives for such transitions.

–  Metrics and indicators, based on a systemic approach, for measuring the circular economy and life cycle performance and enhancing social responsibility; governance systems which accelerate expansion of the circular economy, the bioeconomy and resource efficiency while creating markets for secondary materials; multi-stakeholder and cross-value chain collaboration; instruments for investment in the circular economy and bioeconomy;

–  Solutions for sustainable and regenerative development of cities, peri-urban areas and regions, integrating the circular economy transformation with nature-based solutions, technological, digital, social, cultural and territorial governance innovations;

–  Eco-innovation for prevention and remediation of environmental pollution from and exposure to hazardous substances and chemicals of emerging concern; looking also at the interface between chemicals, products and waste, and at sustainable solutions for primary and secondary raw materials production;

–  Circular use of water resources, including reduction of water demand, prevention of losses, water reuse, recycling and valorisation of wastewater. Innovative solutions for the challenges for the water-food-energy nexus addressing impacts of agricultural and energy water use and enabling synergistic solutions.

–  Sustainable subsurface management integrating geo-resources (energy, water, raw materials) and environmental conditions (natural hazards, anthropogenic impacts) across all relevant clusters, streamlining the positive contribution to a circular economy through pan-European geological knowledge and contributing towards an orchestrated science-based response to the Paris Agreement and to several UN Sustainable Development Goals.

–  Develop and improve solutions and infrastructures for facilitating access to drinking, irrigation and sanitation water, involving inter alia desalination, in order to enable more efficient, energy and CO2 friendly, as well as, circular use of water.

7.  NON-NUCLEAR DIRECT ACTIONS OF THE JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE

7.1.  Rationale

High-quality and trusted scientific evidence is essential for good public policies. New initiatives and proposals for EU legislation need transparent, comprehensive and balanced evidence, whereas implementation of policies needs evidence to measure and monitor their impact and progress.

The JRC adds value to EU policies because its science is excellent, multi-disciplinary and independent of national, private and other external interests. Serving all areas of EU policy, it provides the cross-sectoral support that policymakers need to tackle increasingly complex societal challenges. The JRC's independence from special interests combined with its scientific-technical reference role enable it to facilitate consensus building between stakeholders and other actors such as citizens, and policy makers. With its capacity to respond rapidly to policy needs, the JRC's activities are complementary with indirect actions aiming at supporting longer term policy objectives.

The JRC performs its own research and is a strategic manager of knowledge, information, data and competences to deliver high quality and relevant evidence for smarter policies. To achieve this, the JRC works together with the best organisations world-wide, and with international, national and regional experts and stakeholders. Its research contributes to the general objectives and priorities of Horizon Europe, provides independent scientific knowledge, advice and technical support for EU policies throughout the policy cycle, and is focussed on European policy priorities, supporting a Europe that is safe and secure, prosperous and sustainable, social and stronger on the global scene.

7.2.  Areas of intervention

7.2.1.  Strengthening the knowledge base for policy making

Knowledge and data are growing exponentially. If policy makers are to make sense and use of them they must be reviewed and filtered. There is also a need for cross-cutting scientific methods and analytical tools for use by all Commission services, especially to anticipate upcoming societal challenges and support better regulation. This includes innovative processes to engage stakeholders and citizens in policy-making issues and various tools of impact and implementation assessment.

Broad Lines

–  Modelling, micro-economic evaluation, risk assessment methodologies, quality assurance tools for measurements, design of monitoring schemes, indicators and scoreboards, sensitivity analysis and auditing, lifecycle assessment, data and text mining, (big) data analytics and applications, design thinking, horizon scanning, anticipation and foresight studies, behavioural research, and stakeholders and citizen engagement;

–  Knowledge and competence centres;

–  Communities of practice and knowledge sharing platforms;

–  Data management, data sharing and coherence;

–  Analysis of EU and national research and innovation policies, including the ERA.

7.2.2.  Global Challenges

The JRC will contribute to the specific EU policies and commitments addressed by the seven Global Challenges clusters, notably the EU's commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Broad Lines

1.  Health

–  Scientific and technical policy support for improved public health and health care systems, including medical devices and health technology assessments, databases, digitisation including for accelerating interoperability;

–  Safety assessment methods for potential health and environmental risks posed by chemical substances and pollutants;

–  EU Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing;

–  Quality assurance tools such as certified reference materials for health biomarkers;

–  Research on newly emerging health issues and health threats.

2.  Culture, creativity and inclusive society

–  Research on inequality, poverty and exclusion, social mobility, cultural diversity, and skills; migration, assessment of social, demographic and technological transformations on the economy and on society;

–  Research on good governance and democracy;

–  Support to the safeguarding, preservation and management of cultural heritage;

–  Knowledge centre for migration and demography

3.  Civil security for society

–  Knowledge centre for disaster risk management;

–  Support to security policies in the areas of protection of critical infrastructures and public spaces, CBRN-E (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive materials) and hybrid threats, border protection and document security, and information and intelligence for countering terrorism;

–  Technologies for CBRN-E materials detection, biometric systems, and intelligence-gathering techniques;

–  Support to the EU's security position in the world; assessment of competitiveness and innovation of the Union security industry; exploitation of security-defence synergies;

–  Research for reinforced Cybersecurity capabilities, cyber-resilience, and cyber-deterrence.

4.  Digital, Industry and Space

–  Implications of digitisation, with a focus on new and emerging ICT technologies such as machine learning and artificial computing, distributed ledgers, Internet of Things, and High-Performance Computing;

–  Digitisation in individual sectors, such as energy, transport, construction, service industry, health and care and government;

–  Industrial metrology and quality assurance tools for smart manufacturing;

–  Research on Key Enabling Technologies;

–  Research on best available techniques and environmental management practices, techno-economic analyses and life cycle assessment of industrial processes, chemicals management, waste management, water reuse, raw materials, critical raw materials and quality criteria for recovered materials, all supporting circular economy;

–  Analysis of security of supply of raw materials, including the critical raw materials, in relation to primary and secondary resources information and data update of the Raw Materials Information System;

–  Implementation of Copernicus actions;

–  Technical and scientific support for applications of the EU Global Navigation Satellite System Programmes.

5.  Climate, Energy and Mobility

–  Support to implementation of the EU climate, energy and transport policies, transition to a low-carbon economy and strategies for decarbonisation towards 2050; analysis of integrated national climate and energy plans; assessment of decarbonisation pathway in all sectors, including agriculture and Land Use Land Use Change and Forestry;

–  Assessment of risks in vulnerable ecosystems and critical economic sectors and infrastructure, with focus on adaptation strategies;

–  Analysis of the R&I dimension of Energy Union; assessment of EU competitiveness in the global clean energy market;

–  Assessment of deployment potential of smart energy technologies and sector coupling solutions to enable smooth and cost efficient energy transition.

–  Assessment of deploying renewables and clean energy production technologies;

–  Analysis of energy use of buildings, smart and sustainable cities, and industries;

–  Technical and socio-economic analysis of energy storage, particularly sector coupling and batteries;

–  Analysis of the EU's energy security of supply, including energy infrastructure, and energy markets;

–  Support to energy transition, including the Covenant of Mayors, clean energy for EU Islands, sensitive regions, and Africa.

–  Integrated analysis for deployment of Cooperative, Connected, Automated and Mobility;

–  Integrated analysis for development and deployment of electric driving, including the next generation of battery technologies;

–  Harmonised test procedures and market surveillance for CO2 and air pollutant emissions from vehicles, assessment of innovative technologies;

–  Assessment of smart transport, traffic management systems and congestion indicators;

–  Analyses of alternative fuels and related infrastructure needs.

6.  Food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment

–  Research on land, soil, forests, air, water, marine resources, raw materials and biodiversity to support the effective preservation, restoration and sustainable use of natural capital, including sustainable resources management in Africa ;

–  Knowledge centre for global food nutrition security;

–  Assessment of climate change and potential mitigation and adaptation measures for agricultural and fisheries policies, including food security;

–  Monitoring and forecasting of agricultural resources in EU, enlargement and neighbourhood countries;

–  Research for sustainable and economically thriving aquaculture and fisheries, and for Blue Growth and the Blue Economy;

–  Validated methods, laboratory proficiency tests and new analytical tools for implementing food safety policies;

–  EU Reference Laboratories on Feed Additives, Genetically Modified Organisms and Food Contact Materials;

–  Knowledge centre for food fraud and quality;

–  Knowledge centre for bioeconomy.

7.2.3.  Innovation, economic development, and competitiveness

The JRC will contribute to knowledge-based innovation and technology transfer. It will support the functioning of the internal market and the economic governance of the Union. It will contribute to development and monitoring of policies targeting a more social and sustainable Europe. It will support the EU's external dimension and international goals and help in promoting good governance. A well-functioning internal market with a strong economic governance and fair social system will foster knowledge-based innovation and competitiveness.

Broad Lines

–  Economic, trade, financial and fiscal analysis;

–  Pre-normative research and testing for harmonisation and standardisation;

–  Production of certified reference materials;

–  Market surveillances activities;

–  Management of intellectual property rights;

–  Promotion of technology transfer cooperation.

7.2.4.  Scientific Excellence

The JRC shall pursue excellence and integrity in research and extensive collaboration with top level research institutions worldwide. It will carry out research in emerging fields of science and technology and promote open science and open data as well as knowledge transfer.

Broad Lines

–  Exploratory research programmes;

–  Dedicated collaborative and exchange programmes with research institutions and scientists;

–  Access to JRC research infrastructures;

–  Training of scientists and national experts;

–  Open science and open data.

7.2.5.  Territorial development and support for Member States and Regions

The JRC will contribute to regional and urban policies, with focus on innovation-led territorial development, and with a view to reducing disparities between regions. It will also offer technical assistance to Member States and third countries and support the implementation of European legislation and actions.

Broad Lines

–  Implementation of regional and urban policies, smart specialisation strategies, strategies for economic transformation of regions in transition, integrated urban development strategies and data;

–  Capacity building of local and regional actors for implementation of macro-regional strategies;

–  Knowledge centre for territorial policies;

–  'On demand' advice and tailored support to Member States, regions or cities, including through a virtual network of Science4Policy Platforms.

PILLAR III

Innovative Europe

Innovation in all its forms is a key driver for the EU to continue delivering prosperity to its citizens and meeting challenges of the future. Implementing it requires a systemic, cross-cutting and multifaceted approach. Europe's economic progress, social welfare and quality of life rely on its ability to boost productivity and growth, which, in turn, depends heavily on its ability to innovate. Innovation is also key to solving the major challenges that lie ahead for the EU. Innovation has to be responsible, ethical and sustainable.

Like in the case of its predecessor, innovation is at the heart of Horizon Europe. The quest for acceleration of knowledge transfer and new ideas, products and processes is driving Horizon Europe objectives and implementing modalities, from strategic programming to calls, and is present from the onset to the end of any project supported, from 'blue-sky' research to industrial or technological roadmaps and missions.

Yet, innovation deserves specific measures, as the EU must decisively enhance the conditions and environment for European innovation to thrive, so that ideas are quickly shared between actors in the innovation ecosystem, and new ideas and technologies swiftly transformed into the products and services needed for the EU to deliver.

Recent decades have seen the emergence of major and global new markets in health care, media, entertainment, communication and retail, based on breakthrough innovations in ICT, biotech, green-tech, internet and the platform economy. Further downstream in the innovation process, these market-creating innovations, which impact the EU economy as a whole, are deployed by fast growing and often new companies which, however, seldom originate and scale-up in the EU.

A new global wave of breakthrough innovation is coming up, one that will be based on more 'deep-tech' technologies such as block-chain, artificial intelligence, genomics/multiomics and robotics, and other technologies, which may also emerge from individual innovators and communities of citizens. They have in common that they are taking shape at the intersection between different scientific disciplines, technological solutions and economic sectors, offering radically new combinations of products, processes, services and business models, and have the potential to open up new markets worldwide. Additional critical sectors such as manufacturing, financial services, transport or energy will also be impacted.

Europe has to ride that wave. It is well positioned as the new wave comes in 'deep-tech' areas, in which Europe has already significantly invested notably in the KETs, has therefore some competitive advantages regarding science and knowledge, including in terms of human resources, and can build on close public-private cooperation (e.g. in health care or energy).

For Europe to lead that new wave of breakthrough innovation, the following underlying challenges need to be met:

–  Increase risk finance to overcome financing gaps: Europe's innovators suffer from a low supply of risk finance. Private venture capital is key to turning breakthrough innovations into world-leading companies but, in Europe, it is less than a quarter of the amounts raised in the US and in Asia. Europe must bridge the 'Valleys of death', whereby ideas and innovations fail to reach the market due to the gap between public support and private investment, in particular with regard to high-risk breakthrough innovations that have to be supported by long-term investments;

–  Facilitate the access to research results, improve the transformation of science into innovation and accelerate the transfer of ideas, technologies and talent from the research base into start-ups and industry;

–  Further support the development of all forms of innovation, including user-driven, consumer-driven service and inclusive social innovation;

–  Speed up business transformation: European economy is lagging behind in embracing new technologies and scaling up: 77% of the young and big R&D companies are in US or Asia and only 16% are based in Europe;

–  Enhance and simplify the European landscape for funding and supporting research and innovation: the multitude of funding sources provides a complex landscape for innovators. EU intervention has to cooperate and coordinate with other initiatives at European, national and regional level, public and private, to better enhance and align supporting capacities, avoid duplication of activities and provide for an easy-to-navigate landscape for any European innovator;

–  Overcome fragmentation to the innovation ecosystem. While Europe is home to a growing number of hotspots, these are not well connected. Companies with international growth potential have to cope with fragmentation of national markets with their diverse languages, business cultures and regulations. The EU has a role to play in supporting effective collaboration between national and regional ecosystems, so that companies, and SMEs in particular, can access the best knowledge, expertise, infrastructures and services across Europe. The EU shall support collaboration between ecosystems, including through regulation, so that interoperability between different technologies and practical solutions is improved.

In order to cope with that new global wave of breakthrough innovation, EU support to innovators requires an agile, simple, seamless and tailored approach. Policy to develop and deploy breakthrough innovations and scale-up companies has to be bold in taking risks and must take into account the above-mentioned challenges and add value to related innovation activities implemented by individual Member States or regions.

Horizon Europe's Innovative Europe pillar, in cooperation with other EU policies and in particular the InvestEU Programme, is designed to deliver such tangible results. It builds on lessons learned and on experience gained under the previous framework programmes, in particular from activities such as Future Emerging Technologies (FET), Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) and the SME Instrument, but also private and corporate finance (such as FP7 RSFF, Horizon 2020 InnovFin), gathered and streamlined within the ' EIC pilot's activities launched for the period 2018-2020.

Based on these experiences, this Pillar provides for the launch of the European Innovation Council (EIC), which will mainly promote breakthrough and disruptive technologies and innovation targeting especially market- creating innovation, while also supporting all types of innovations, including incremental, especially within SMEs including start-ups, and in exceptional cases small- mid-caps with rapid scale-up potential at EU and global level and with dedicated types of actions and activities:

–  Supporting the development of future and emerging breakthrough innovations, including “deep-tech” innovations as well as non-technological innovations;

–  Bridging financing gaps in the development, deployment and scaling up of market-creating innovations;

–  Leverage private capital and investment;

–  Increasing the impact and visibility of EU innovation support.

This pillar shall also provide for the activities developed under the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), in particular through its Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs). Additionally, systematic synergies shall be ensured between the EIC and the EIT. Innovative companies stemming from an EIT KIC may be channelled to the EIC to create a pipeline of not yet bankable innovations, while high potential innovative companies funded by the EIC that are not already engaged in one of the EIT KICs may be offered access to this additional support.

Whilst the EIC and the EIT KICs may directly support innovations across the EU, the overall environment from which European innovations nurture and emerge must be further developed and enhanced: findings in fundamental research are seeds for market-creating innovations. It must be a common European endeavour to support innovation all across Europe, and in all dimensions and forms, including through complementary EU and national and regional policies (including through effective synergies with ERDF and smart specialisation strategies) and resources whenever possible. Hence, this Pillar provides also for renewed and reinforced coordination and cooperation mechanisms with Member States and Associated Countries, but also with private initiatives, in order to support all actors of the European innovation ecosystems, including at regional and local level;

–  Additionally, as a continued effort to enhance risk-finance capacities for research and innovation in Europe, this pillar will closely link with the InvestEU programme. Building on the successes and the experiences gained under Horizon 2020 InnovFin, as well as under EFSI, the InvestEU Programme will enhance access to risk finance for bankable entities, as well as for investors.

1.  THE EUROPEAN INNOVATION COUNCIL (EIC)

1.1.  Areas of Intervention

The EIC shall operate according to the following principles: clear EU added value, autonomy, ability to take risks, efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and accountability. The EIC will act as the one-stop-shop for all types of innovators including from individuals to universities, research organisations and companies (SMEs, including start-ups, and, in exceptional cases, small mid-caps). Depending of its schemes, it will provide support to single beneficiaries and multi-disciplinary consortia.

The objectives of the EIC are:

–  to identify, develop and deploy high risk innovations of all kinds including incremental with a strong focus on breakthrough, disruptive and deep-tech innovations that have the potential to become market-creating innovations, and

–  to support the rapid scale-up of innovative companies mainly SMEs, including start-ups and in exceptional cases small mid-caps at EU and international levels along the pathway from ideas to market.

Where relevant, the EIC shall contribute to the activities supported under other parts of Horizon Europe, in particular in Pillar II.

The EIC will be implemented primarily through two complementary types of action, namely the Pathfinder for advanced research, for the early stages of technology development, and the Accelerator for innovation and market deployment actions, including the pre-mass commercialisation stages and company growth. With the idea to offer a single one-stop shop and a single process of support for high risk innovations carried out by start-ups, SMEs and, in exceptional cases, small midcaps, the Accelerator will notably award two types of support: mainly blended finance (combining grants with equity investments) as well as grants, optionally followed by equity support. In addition, it will also channel access to loans and guarantees, notably those provided under the InvestEU programme.

These two complementary types of actions will share common characteristics. They will:

–  Support high-risk innovations where the risks, whether financial, technological/scientific, market and/or regulatory, cannot be borne by the market alone or yet supported by financial instruments under InvestEU;

–  Mainly focus on high-risk breakthrough, and/or deep-tech innovations, while also supporting other forms of innovation, including incremental, that have the potential to create new markets or contribute to resolving global challenges;

–  Be mainly bottom-up, open to innovations from all fields of science, technology and applications in any sector, while also enabling targeted support for emerging breakthrough, market-creating and/or deep-tech technologies of potential strategic significance in terms of economic and/or social impact. The Commission services will evaluate this potential strategic impact on the basis of recommendations from the independent experts, from the EIC programme managers and, where appropriate, from the EIC Advisory Board;

–  Encourage innovations that cut across different scientific, technological (e.g. combining physical and digital) fields and sectors;

–  Be centred on innovators, simplifying procedures and administrative requirements, making use of interviews to help assess applications, and ensuring fast decision making;

–  Implemented with the aim of significantly enhancing the European innovation ecosystem;

–  Be managed pro-actively with milestones or other predefined criteria to gauge progress and the possibility to, after a thorough assessment, with the possible use of independent experts, reorient, reschedule or terminate the projects where needed.

As well as financial support, innovators will have access to EIC business advisory services providing to projects coaching, mentoring and technical assistance, and pairing innovators with peers, industrial partners and investors. Innovators will also have facilitated access to expertise, facilities (including innovation hubs(28) and open innovation testbeds) and partners from across EU supported activities including those of the EIT, in particular through its KICs. The Commission will ensure seamless continuity between the EIT, the EIC, and InvestEU, to deliver complementarity and synergies.

To allow the strengthening of the European innovation ecosystem, particular attention will be paid to ensuring proper and efficient complementarity with individual or networked Member States or interregional initiatives, including in the form of a European Partnership.

1.1.1.  The Pathfinder for Advanced Research

The Pathfinder's will provide grants to high-risk cutting-edge projects exploring new and deep-tech areas aiming to develop into potentially radical innovative technologies of the future and new market opportunities. Merging them into a single model with a unique set of criteria. It will build on the experience from the Future and Emerging Technology (FET) schemes supported under FP7 and Horizon 2020, including the Horizon 2020 FET-Innovation Launchpad, as well as the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 1.

The Pathfinder overall objective will be to nurture potential market creating innovation out of breakthrough ideas, and bring them to demonstration stage or development of business cases or strategies for further take-up by the Accelerator or any other market deployment solution. To that end, the Pathfinder will support the earliest stages of scientific and technological research and development, including proof of concept and prototypes for technology validation.

In order to be fully open to broad-sweeping explorations, opportunities of serendipity and unexpected ideas, concepts and discoveries, the Pathfinder will be mainly implemented through a continuous and competitive open call with cut-off dates for bottom-up proposals. While maintaining its mainly bottom-up nature, the Pathfinder will also provide for competitive challenges to develop key strategic objectives(29) calling for deep-tech and radical thinking. The topics for those challenges will be determined in the work programmes. Regrouping of selected projects into thematic or objective driven portfolios will allow establishing critical mass of efforts and structuring new multidisciplinary research communities.

These portfolios of selected projects will be further developed and enhanced, each along a vision developed with their innovators, but also shared with the research and innovation community at large. The Pathfinder's Transition activities will be implemented to help researchers and innovators develop the pathway to commercial development, such as demonstration activities and feasibility studies to assess potential business cases, and support the creation of spin offs and start-ups. These Pathfinder's Transition activities may also consist of complementary grants to top-up or enlarge the scope of previous and on-going actions, to bring in new partners, to enable collaboration within the portfolio and to develop its multidisciplinary community.

The Pathfinder will be open to all types of innovators, from individuals to universities, research organisations and companies, in particular startups and SMEs, and focusing on multi-disciplinary consortia. In the case of single beneficiary projects, mid-caps and larger companies will not be permitted. The Pathfinder will be implemented mainly through collaborative research and in close coordination with other parts of Horizon Europe, in particular with the European Research Council (ERC), the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), the European Ecosystem part of Pillar III and the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) activities to identify radical new ideas and concepts with breakthrough potential.

1.1.2.  The Accelerator

Available private and corporate financing remains scarce between late stage of research and innovation activities and market take-up for high-risk(30) and therefore not 'bankable' or investors-attractive breakthrough and market-creating innovations. In order to bridge the 'valley of death' for any type of high-risk innovations, including in particular breakthrough and 'deep tech' innovations that are key to Europe’s future growth, public support must develop a radically new approach. Where the market does not provide viable financial solutions, public support should provide for a specific risk-sharing mechanism, bearing more if not all of the initial risk of potential breakthrough market-creating innovations to attract alternate private investors in a second stage, as operations unfold and the risk is reduced until the company carrying the innovative project becomes bankable.

Consequently the Accelerator will provide financial support to SMEs including start-ups and, in exceptional cases, small mid-caps that have the ambition to develop and deploy in EU and international markets their breakthrough innovations and to scale up rapidly. For that purpose it will build on the experience from the Phases 2 and 3 of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument and from Horizon 2020 InnovFin, including through the addition of non-grant components and the ability to support larger and longer investments.

The Accelerator shall mainly provide support in the form of EIC blended finance, as well as grants and equity. The EIC blended finance shall be a mix of:

–  Grant or reimbursable advance(31), to cover innovation activities;

–  Support for investment in equity(32) or other repayable forms (loans, guarantees, etc.), so as to bridge innovation activities with effective market deployment, including scale-up, in a manner that does not crowd out private investments or distorts competition in the internal market. In case a project is deemed bankable from its initial selection (due diligence), or where the level of risk has been sufficiently reduced, it will channel the selected/supported company to access to debt financing (e.g. loans or guarantees) and on equity financing provided by the InvestEU programme.

Blended financial support will be awarded through a single process and with a single decision, providing the supported innovator with a single global commitment to financial resources covering the various stages of innovation down to market deployment including pre-mass commercialisation. The full implementation of the awarded support will be subject to milestones and review. The combination and volume of financing will be adapted to the needs of the firm, its size and stage, the nature of the technology/innovation and the length of the innovation cycle. It will cover financing needs until replacement by alternative sources of investment.

The EIC Accelerator will also provide support in the form of grants to SMEs, including start-ups, to carry out a range of innovation types, from incremental to breakthrough and disruptive innovation, who are aiming to subsequently scale up.

The support will be provided through the same continuously open and bottom-up call as the one used for the blended-finance support. A start-up or an SME may benefit only once during Horizon Europe from grant-only support from the EIC that will not exceed EUR 2.5 million. Proposals shall include detailed information on the capacities of the applicant to scale up.

For projects that have benefitted from a grant-only support, the Accelerator may subsequently upon the request of the beneficiaries provide them with finance support (e.g. "an equity support only"), through its “Special Purpose Vehicle” (SPV) subject to the due diligence results of the latter.

When selected projects are receiving a grant component support for its research and innovation activities; the activities may be implemented in collaboration with public or private research organisations, for example through subcontracting, to ensure that the beneficiary can have optimal access to technical and business expertise. This will allow the beneficiary to develop with a strong foundation in the existing knowledge, expertise and ecosystems across Europe.

Where the various risks are reduced (financial, scientific/technological, market, management, regulatory, etc.), the relative importance of the reimbursable advance component is expected to increase.

While the EU may bear alone the initial risk of selected innovation and market deployment actions, the aim will be to de-risk these and stimulate, from the out-set and during the development of the action, co-investments from alternative sources and even substitutive investors. In that event, co-investment objectives and times schedule will be agreed with the co-investor(s) and the beneficiaries/supported companies.

The Accelerator will mainly operate through a continuously open, and bottom-up call, with cut-off dates, targeting SMEs including start-ups, and in exceptional cases small-mid-caps, including young and female innovators managing or holding key skills in these companies. This open and bottom-up call may be complemented by targeted support for on emerging breakthrough, market-creating and/or deep-tech innovations of potential strategic significance in terms of economic and/or social impact, while maintaining the predominantly bottom up nature of the Accelerator. The topics for this targeted support will be described in the work programmes. Investors, including public innovation agencies, may also submit proposals, but the support shall be awarded directly to the company carrying the innovative project they are interested in.

The Accelerator will also allow for take-up of innovations stemming from Pathfinder-supported projects and from other pillars of the EU Framework Programmes(33), in order to support them to reach the market. This identification of projects supported in other pillars of Horizon Europe and also previous Framework Programmes will be based on pertinent methodologies, such as the Innovation Radar.

In addition, for scale up purpose and in compliance with Article 43.5(a) of Regulation [Framework programme], subject to an initial mapping exercise, successful proposals from eligible national or regional programmes could also have access to the Accelerator evaluation phase under the following cumulative and sequential conditions:

(a)  in close cooperation with Member States, the Commission will perform an in-depth mapping of eligible national or regional programmes to identify the demand for such a scheme. The results of this mapping will be published on the Participants portal and updated regularly.

(b)  A pilot, based on this mapping, will be launched in the first Horizon Europe work programme. Under this pilot, the following conditions must be met:

—  the national or regional evaluation procedures shall be certified by the Commission according to criteria included in the Horizon Europe Work Programme;

—  the Commission shall ensure equal treatment with other proposals in the evaluation of proposals submitted under the EIC Accelerator. In particular all eligible proposals shall have to comply with a selection test, on a strictly equal footing, consisting of a face-to-face interview with a jury consisting of external independent experts.

1.1.3.  Additional EIC activities

Additionally, EIC will also implement:

–  Highly recommended to all selected start-ups and SMEs, and in exceptional cases small mid-caps, although not mandatory, EIC business acceleration services in support of Pathfinder and Accelerator activities and actions. The aim will be to connect the EIC Community of funded innovators, including funded Seal of Excellence, to investors, partners and public buyers. It will provide a range of coaching and mentoring services to EIC actions. It will provide innovators with access to international networks of potential partners, including industrial ones, to complement a value chain or develop market opportunities, and find investors and other sources of private or corporate finance. Activities will include live events (e.g. brokerage events, pitching sessions) but also, the development of matching platforms or use of existing ones, in close relation with financial intermediaries supported by the InvestEU and with the EIB Group. These activities will also encourage peer exchanges as a source of learning in innovation ecosystem, making particular good use of Members of the EIC Board and EIC Fellows;

–  EIC Fellowship to honour the EU's leading innovators. They will be awarded by the Commission on the advice of the High Level Advisory Board to recognise them as ambassadors for innovation;

–  EIC Challenges, i.e. inducement prizes, to help develop novel solutions to global challenges, bring in new actors and develop new communities. Other EIC prizes will include iCapital, the Climate innovation prize, the Social Innovation Inducement Prize, and the Women Innovators' Prize.(34) The design of its prizes will be linked to the EIC and to other parts of the EU Framework Programme, including missions and to other relevant funding bodies. Opportunities for cooperation with organisations able to provide complementary support (such as enterprises, universities, research organisations, business accelerators, charities and foundations) will be explored.

–  EIC Innovative Procurement, to procure prototypes, or develop first purchase programme to facilitate the testing and acquisition of pre-market innovative technologies by national, regional or local public entities, collectively whenever possible.

1.2.  Implementation

To reflect its innovator-centric approach and novel types of actions, the implementation of the EIC calls for the deployment of specific management features.

1.2.1.  The EIC Board

The High Level Advisory EIC Board ("EIC Board") shall assist the Commission in implementing the EIC. As well as advising on the EIC work programmes, the EIC Board shall take an active role in advising on the process of project selection and the management and following up actions. It will have a communication function, with members playing an ambassadorial role helping to stimulate innovation across the EU. Communication channels will include attendance at key innovation events, social media, constitution of an EIC community of innovators, engaging with key media with a focus on innovation, common events with incubators and acceleration hubs.

The EIC Board shall provide advice to the Commission regarding innovation trends or initiatives needed to enhance and foster the EU innovation ecosystem, including potential regulatory barriers. The EIC Board's advice shall also identify emerging areas of innovation likely to be taken into account in the activities under the Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness pillar and missions. In this way, and in coordination with the relevant programme committee configuration, the EIC Board is expected to contribute to the overall coherence of the Horizon Europe programme.

Based on the advice of the EIC Board, the Commission will:

–  provide potential applicants with detailed information in advance of calls for proposals, to include

—  the requirements of the different supporting schemes;

—  how the proposed forms of financial support (blended finance, grant, equity, loan and guarantee) will be provided and implemented;

—  clear differentiation between the targeted groups and their distinct needs, according to EIC schemes;

—  definition of the innovation objectives in terms of product, process, marketing and services;

–  establish a solid monitoring of the implementation of the EIC schemes with the objective to ensure quick policy learning and to develop innovation patterns. For this purpose, indicators will be selected and implemented to measure the expected and achieved innovation in terms of product, process, marketing and services;

–  ensure complementarity and cooperation between the EIC and the EIT with the aim to avoid duplication;

–  disseminate detailed information on existing tools to attract risk capital investors in case of highly risky projects.

1.2.2.  EIC programme managers

The Commission will take a pro-active approach to the management of high risk projects, through access to the necessary expertise.

The Commission will appoint on a temporary basis a number of EIC programme managers to assist it with business- and technology-based vision and operational guidance. The Programme Committee will be informed on the appointments.

Programme managers will come from multiple spheres, including companies, universities, national laboratories and research centers. They will bring deep expertise from personal experience and years in the field. They will be recognised leaders, either having managed multidisciplinary research teams or directing large institutional programs, and know the importance of communicating their visions tirelessly, creatively, and broadly. Lastly, they will have experience in overseeing important budgets, which require sense of responsibility.

Programme managers will be expected to boost the impact of EIC funding by fostering an « active management » culture, combining a sound technological knowledge with a hands-on approach involving development at portfolio and projects levels of vision-based budgets, timelines and milestones EIC projects must meet to receive continued funding.

In particular, programme managers oversee the implementation of Pathfinder and Accelerator calls, and provide opinion to the expert evaluation committees, based on clear and fair criteria and in view of a consistent strategic portfolio of projects, expected to make essential contributions to the emergence of potential societal or economic market creating innovations.

Programme managers will have the task of nurturing Pathfinder portfolios by developing together with beneficiaries a common vision and a common strategic approach that leads to a critical mass of effort. This will involve the enhancement of new, recently developed fields of research, and the building up and structuring of new communities, with the objective of bringing cutting-edge breakthrough ideas into genuine and mature market creating innovations. Programme managers will implement transition activities, further developing portfolio with relevant additional activities and partners, and closely monitoring potential spin-offs and start-ups.

To allow more flexibility, programme managers will review Pathfinder and Accelerator’s projects, for each milestone or predefined criteria at relevant intervals according to the project development, to assess whether they should be continued, reoriented or terminated according to defined methods and procedures for project management. Where relevant, such assessments may involve independent external experts. In accordance with staff regulations, the Commission will ensure that there is no conflict of interest, nor breach of confidentiality, of programme managers in the execution of all their tasks.

Given the high risk nature of the actions, it is expected that a significant number of projects will not reach completion. Budget decommitted from such terminations will be used to support other EIC actions and shall be communicated in a timely manner to the Programme Committee.

1.2.3.  Implementation of the EIC blended finance

The Commission will manage all operational elements of Accelerator projects, including the grant or other non-repayable forms of support.

For the purpose of managing EIC blended finance, the Commission shall establish a special purpose vehicle (EIC SPV). The Commission shall seek to ensure the participation of other public and private investors. Where this is not possible at the initial set up, the special purpose vehicle will be structured in such a way that it can attract other public or private investors in order to increase the leverage effect of the Union contribution.

The investment strategy of the EIC SPV will be endorsed by the Commission. The EIC SPV shall define and implement an exit strategy for its equity participations, which will include the possibility to propose the transfer of (a share) of an investment operation to the implementing partners supported under the InvestEU programme, where appropriate and for operations whose risks have been sufficiently lowered so that they meet criteria of Article 209(2) of the Financial Regulation. The Programme Committee will be informed accordingly.

The EIC SPV will perform due diligence, and negotiate technical terms of each investment in compliance with the principles of additionality and prevention of conflict of interests with other activities of the investees and of other counterparts. The EIC SPV will proactively leverage public and/or private investments into individual Accelerator’s operations.

2.  EUROPEAN INNOVATION ECOSYSTEMS

2.1.  Rationale

To fully harness the potential of innovation involving researchers, entrepreneurs, industry and society at large, the EU, together with the Member States, must improve the environment within which innovation can flourish at all levels. This will mean contributing to the development of an effective innovation ecosystem at EU level, and encouraging cooperation, networking, and the exchange of ideas and knowledge, developing open innovation processes in organisations, funding and skills among national, regional and local innovation ecosystems, in order to support all types of innovation, reach out to all innovators across the EU and provide them with adequate support.

The EU and Member States must also aim to develop ecosystems that support social innovation and public sector innovation, in addition to innovation in private enterprises. Indeed, the government sector must innovate and renew itself in order to be able to support the changes in regulation and governance required to support the large-scale deployment of innovations, including new technologies and a growing public demand for the more efficient and effective delivery of services. Social innovations are crucial to enhance the welfare of our societies.

To attain these objectives, activities will be implemented to complement and to ensure synergies with the EIC’s types of action, as well as with the activities of the EIT, with activities undertaken under other pillars of Horizon Europe and with activities implemented by Member States and Associated Countries, but also by private initiatives.

2.2.  Areas of intervention

As a first step the Commission will organise an EIC Forum of Member States and Associated countries’ public authorities and bodies in charge of innovation policies and programmes, with the aim of promoting coordination and dialogue on the development of the EU's innovation ecosystem. The EIC Board and the EIT Board will also be associated. Within this EIC Forum, the Commission will:

–  Discuss the development of innovation-friendly regulation, through the continued application of the Innovation Principle(35) and development of innovative approaches to public procurement including developing and enhancing the Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI) instrument to drive innovation. The Observatory of Public Sector Innovation will also continue to support internal government innovation efforts, alongside the revamped Policy Support Facility;

–  Promote the alignment of research and innovation agendas with EU efforts to consolidate an open market for capital flows and investment, such as the development of key framework conditions in favour of innovation under the Capital Markets Union;

–  Enhance coordination between national and regional innovation programmes and innovation activities under Horizon Europe, including notably the EIC and the EIT, so as to stimulate operational synergies and avoid overlaps, by sharing data on programmes and their implementation, resources and expertise, analysis and monitoring of technological and innovation trends, interconnecting respective innovators' communities;

–  Establish a joint communication strategy on innovation in the EU. It will aim at stimulating the EU's most talented innovators, entrepreneurs, particularly young ones, SMEs and start-ups throughout the EU. It will stress the EU added-value that technical, non-technical, and social innovators can bring to EU citizens by developing their idea/vision into a thriving enterprise (social value/impact, jobs and growth, societal progression).

The EU will also, in synergy with other Horizon Europe activities, including those of the EIC and EIT, and with the regional smart specialisation strategies:

–  Promote and co-fund joint innovation programmes managed by authorities in charge of public national, regional or local innovation policies and programmes, to which private entities supporting innovation and innovators may be associated. Such demand-driven joint programmes may target, among others, early stage and feasibility study support, academia-enterprise cooperation, support to high-tech SMEs' collaborative research, technology and knowledge transfer, internationalisation of SMEs, market analysis and development, digitalisation of low-tech SMEs, support the development and interconnection of open innovation infrastructures, such as pilots, demonstrators, maker spaces and testbeds, financial instruments for close to market innovations activities or market deployment, social innovation. They may also include joint public procurement initiatives, enabling innovations to be commercialised in the public sector, in particular in support of the development of new policy. This could be particularly effective to stimulate innovation in public service areas and to provide market opportunities to European innovators;

–  Support also joint programmes for mentoring, coaching, technical assistance and other services that are delivered close to innovators, by networks such as National Contact Points, Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), clusters, pan-European platforms such as Startup Europe, regional or local innovation actors, public but also private, in particular incubators and innovation hubs that could moreover be interconnected to favour partnering between innovators. Support may also be given to promote soft skills for innovation, including to networks of vocational institutions and in close cooperation with the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and its KICs;

–  Improve data and knowledge about innovation support, including mapping of support schemes, establishing data sharing platforms, benchmarking and evaluation of support schemes.

The EU will also launch actions necessary to further monitor and nurture the overall innovation landscape and innovation management capacity in Europe.

The ecosystem support activities will be implemented by the Commission, supported by an executive agency for the evaluation process.

PART - WIDENING PARTICIPATION AND STRENGTHENING THE EUROPEAN RESEARCH AREA

This part of the Programme shall implement concrete measures in support of widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area. It shall aim to strengthen collaborate links across Europe and open up European R&I networks, contribute to improving research management capacities in the widening countries, support national policy reforms as well as exploit the potential of the Union’s talent pool by targeted actions.

The EU has a history of world-class scientific and technological achievements, but its research and innovation potential fails to be fully exploited. Despite much progress in developing the European Research Area (ERA), including the ERA roadmap and national ERA action plans, Europe has still a fragmented research and innovation landscape, and all Member States face bottlenecks in their research and innovation systems which require policy reforms. In some areas, progress is too slow to catch-up with an increasingly dynamic research and innovation ecosystem(36).

The level of research and innovation investment in Europe is still far below the policy objective of 3% of GDP and continues to grow less than our main competitors such as US, Japan, China or South-Korea.

Meanwhile, there is a growing disparity in Europe between the R&I-leading and the R&I-lagging countries and regions. Change, for example through more and better links between research and innovation actors across Europe, is needed if Europe as a whole is to capitalise on excellence from across the continent, maximise the value of public and private investments, and their impacts on productivity, economic growth, job creation and well-being. In addition, there is a need for structural R&I policy reforms and better national and regional as well as institutional cooperation in the production and diffusion of high-quality knowledge.

In addition, research and innovation are seen by some as distant and elitist without clear benefits for citizens, instilling attitudes that hamper the creation and uptake of innovative solutions, and scepticism about evidence-based public policies. This requires both better linkages between scientists, researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, citizens and policy-makers, and more robust approaches to pooling scientific evidence itself in a changing society.

The EU now needs to raise the bar on the quality and impact of its research and innovation system, requiring a revitalised European Research Area (ERA)(37), across the European Union and Associated Countries, better supported by the EU's research and innovation Framework Programme and national and regional programmes. Specifically, a well-integrated yet tailored set of EU measures(38) is needed, combined with reforms and performance enhancements at national level (to which the Smart Specialisation Strategies supported under the European Regional Development Fund as well as the Policy Support Facility can contribute) and, in turn, effective institutional changes within research funding and performing organisations, including universities, leading to outstanding knowledge production. By combining efforts at EU level, synergies can be exploited across Europe and the necessary scale can be found to make support to national policy reforms more efficient and impactful.

The activities supported under this part specifically address ERA policy priorities, while generally underpinning all parts of Horizon Europe. Activities may also be established to foster brain circulation across ERA through mobility of researchers and innovators, taking fully into account current imbalances, and to create and develop networks of scholars, scientists, researchers and innovators to put all their (intangible) assets to the service of the ERA and by supporting the development of domain-specific science roadmaps.

The goal is for an EU where knowledge and a highly skilled workforce circulate freely, research outputs are shared rapidly and efficiently, researchers benefit from attractive careers and gender equality is ensured, where Member States and Associated Countries develop common strategic research agendas, aligning national plans, defining and implementing joint programmes, and where the outcomes of research and innovation are understood and trusted by informed citizens and benefit society as a whole.

This part will contribute de facto to all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but directly to the following: SDG 4 - Quality Education; SDG 5 - Gender Equality; SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; SDG 17 - Partnership for the Goals.

1.  WIDENING PARTICIPATION AND SPREADING EXCELLENCE

Reducing disparities and the existing divide in research and innovation performance by sharing knowledge and expertise across the EU will help widening countries and the EU outermost regions to attain a competitive position in the global value chains and the Union to fully benefit from R&I potential of all Member States.

Further action, for example through the promotion of openness and diversity of project consortia, is therefore needed to counter the trend for closed collaborations, which can exclude large number of promising institutions and individuals, including newcomers, and to exploit the potential of the EU's talent pool by maximising and sharing the benefits of research and innovation across the EU.

Within the broad areas of activities, the funding lines will facilitate specific research elements customised to the particular needs of the actions.

Broad Lines

–  Teaming, to create new centres of excellence or upgrade existing ones in eligible countries, building on partnerships between leading scientific institutions and partner institutions;

–  Twinning, to significantly strengthen universities or research organisations from eligible countries in a defined field, by linking it with internationally-leading research institutions from other Member States or Associated Countries ;

–  ERA Chairs, to support universities or research organisations from eligible countries to attract and maintain high quality human resources under the direction of an outstanding researcher and research manager (the 'ERA Chair holder'), and to implement structural changes to achieve excellence on a sustainable basis;

–  European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), involving ambitious conditions regarding the inclusion of eligible countries, and other measures to provide scientific networking, capacity building and career development support to young and advanced researchers from these target countries, through actions of high scientific quality and relevance. 80% of the total budget of COST will be devoted to actions fully aligned with the objectives of this intervention area, including funding for new activities and services;

–  Activities aimed at improving the quality of proposals from legal entities from low R&I performing Member States, such as professional pre-proposal checks and advice, and boosting the activities of National Contact Points to support international networking, as well as activities following Article 20(3) of the [Regulation] and evidence-based matchmaking services following Article 46(2) of the [Regulation].

–  Activities may be established to foster brain circulation of researchers of all ages and at all levels right across ERA (for instance grants to enable researchers of any nationality to acquire and transfer new knowledge and to work on research and innovation in Widening countries) and better exploitation of existing (and possibly jointly managed) research infrastructures in the targeted countries through mobility of researchers and innovators. Activities may also be established to foster initiatives on excellence.

This intervention area will support the Horizon Europe specific objectives: Facilitate full engagement of Europe’s talent pool in supported actions; Spread and connect excellence across the EU; Reinforce the creation of high quality knowledge; Increase cross-sectorial, cross-disciplinary cross-border cooperation.

2.  REFORMING AND ENHANCING THE EU RESEARCH AND INNOVATION SYSTEM

Policy reforms at national level will be mutually reinforced and complemented through the development of EU-level policy initiatives, research, networking, partnering, coordination, data collection and monitoring and evaluation.

Broad Lines

–  Strengthening the evidence base for research and innovation policy, for a better understanding of the different dimensions and components of national and regional research and innovation ecosystems, including drivers, impacts, associated polices;

–  Foresight activities, to anticipate emerging needs and trends, in coordination and co-design with national agencies and future-oriented stakeholders and citizens, in a participative manner, building on advances in forecasting methodology, making outcomes more policy relevant, while exploiting synergies across and beyond the programme;

–  Support for policy makers, funding bodies, research performing organisations (including universities) or advisory groups working on ERA and ERA related policies or implementing coordination and support measures supporting the ERA to ensure that these are to be well-aligned towards developing and implementing a coherent and long-term sustaining ERA. Such support may take the form of Coordination and Support Actions (CSAs) in a bottom-up and competitive way to support programme level collaboration between research and innovation programme of Member States, Associated Countries and civil society organisations such as foundations, on priorities of their choice, with a clear focus on the implementation of transnational joint activities including calls. It will be based on clear commitments from participating programmes to pool resources and ensure complementarity between activities and policies with those of the Framework Programme and relevant European Partnership Initiatives.

–  Accelerating the transition towards open science, by monitoring, analysing and supporting the development and uptake of open science policies and practices(39), including the FAIR principles, at the level of Member States, regions, institutions and researchers, in a way that maximises synergies and coherence at EU level;

–  Support to national research and innovation policy reform, including though a strengthened set of services of the Policy Support Facility (PSF)(40) (i.e. peer reviews, specific support activities, mutual learning exercises and the knowledge centre) to Member States and Associated Countries, operating in synergy with the European Regional Development Fund, the Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS) and the Reform Delivery Tool;

–  Providing researchers with attractive career environments, skills and competences needed in the modern knowledge economy(41). Linking the ERA and the European Higher Education Area by supporting the modernisation of universities and other research and innovation organisations, through recognition and reward mechanisms to spur actions at national level, as well as incentives promoting the adoption of open science practices, responsible R&I, entrepreneurship (and links to innovation ecosystems), trans-disciplinarity, citizen engagement, international and inter-sectoral mobility, gender equality plans, diversity and inclusion strategies, and comprehensive approaches to institutional changes. In that context, as a follow-up of the pilot actions launched under Erasmus+ 2014-20 on European Universities, Horizon Europe will, where appropriate, complement in a synergetic way the support provided by the ERASMUS' programme to European Universities, providing support on their research and innovation dimension.  This will contribute to developing new joint and integrated long term and sustainable strategies on education, research and innovation based on trans-disciplinary and cross-sectoral approaches to make the knowledge triangle a reality, providing impetus to sustainable economic growth, while avoiding overlaps with EIT KICs.

–  Citizen science, supporting all types of formal, non-formal and informal science education, ensuring a more effective and responsible engagement of citizens, regardless of age, background or abilities, in the co-design of research and innovation agenda settings and policy, in the co-creation of scientific content and innovation through transdisciplinary activities;

–  Supporting and monitoring gender equality and as well as other forms of diversity in scientific careers and in decision making, including in advisory bodies, as well as the integration of the gender dimension in research and innovation content;

–  Ethics and integrity, to further develop a coherent EU framework in adherence with the highest ethics standards and the European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, providing the training opportunities in these areas;

–  Supporting international cooperation through bilateral, multilateral and bi-regional policy dialogues with third countries, regions and international fora will facilitate mutual learning and priority setting, promote reciprocal access and monitor impact of cooperation;

–  Scientific input to other policies, through the creation and maintenance of advisory and monitoring structures and processes to ensure that EU policy-making is based on the best available scientific evidence and high-level scientific advice;

–  EU research and innovation programme implementation, including the collection and analysis of evidence for the monitoring, evaluation, design and impact assessment of the Framework Programmes;

The Commission will ensure support for NCPs inter-alia through regular meetings before calls, training , coaching, strengthening dedicated support structures and facilitating trans-national cooperation among them (e.g. building on activities of National Contact Points in previous Framework Programmes). The Commission will develop minimum standards, in agreement with Member States representatives, for the operation of these support structures, including their role, structure, modalities, flow of information from the Commission before calls for proposals, and avoidance of conflicts of interest;

–  Dissemination and exploitation of research and innovation results, data and knowledge, including through dedicated support to beneficiaries; fostering synergies with other EU programmes; targeted communication activities to raise the awareness of the broader impact and relevance of EU funded research and innovation, as well as science communication.

ANNEX II

Programme Committee configurations

List of configurations of the Programme Committee in accordance with Article 12(2):

1.  Strategic configuration: Strategic overview of the implementation of the whole programme, coherence across the individual work programmes of the different parts of the programme, including missions

2.  European Research Council (ERC)

2a.  Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA)

3.  Research Infrastructures

4.  Health

5.  Culture, creativity and Inclusive Society

6.  Civil Security for Society

6.  Digital, Industry and Space

7.  Climate, Energy and Mobility

8.  Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment

9.  The European Innovation Council (EIC) and European Innovation ecosystems

9a.  Widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area

Ad-hoc meetings could be organised within the clusters and/or with different Programme Committee configurations and/or with Committees established by other acts on horizontal and/or cross-cutting issues, such as space and mobility.

ANNEX III

Information to be provided by the Commission in accordance with Article 12(6)

1.  Information on individual projects, enabling the monitoring of the entire lifetime of each proposal, covering in particular:

–  submitted proposals,

–  evaluation results for each proposal,

–  grant agreements,

–  terminated projects in accordance with Article 29(2) and (3) and Article 43(11) of the Regulation (Horizon Europe)

–  completed projects.

2.  Information on the outcome of each call and project implementation, covering in particular:

–  results of each call,

–  evaluation scores of proposals and deviations from these in their ranking list, based on their contribution to the achievement of specific policy objectives, including the constitution of a consistent portfolio of projects in accordance with Article 26(2) of the Regulation (Horizon Europe),

–  requested adjustments to the proposals in accordance with Article 26(2) of the Regulation (Horizon Europe),

–  outcome of negotiations on grant agreements,

–  project implementation, including payment data and outcome of projects,

–  proposals retained by independent experts evaluation, but rejected by the Commission in accordance with Article 43(7) of the Regulation (Horizon Europe).

3.  Information on programme implementation, including relevant information at the level of the framework programme, the specific programme, each specific objective and related themes and the JRC, as part of the annual monitoring along the impact pathways defined in Annex V to the Regulation, as well as the synergies with other relevant Union programmes.

4.  Information on the execution of the Horizon Europe budget, including information on COST, on commitments and payments for all European Partnerships, including KICs, as well as financial balances between the EU and all associated countries.

(1) OJ L 123, 12.5.2016, p. 1.
(2) Texts adopted of 17.4.2019, P8_TA(2019)0396.
(3) OJ C , , p. .
(4) OJ C , , p. .
(5) OJ C , , p. .
(6) Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by the Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13)
(7) Commission Decision 96/282/Euratom of 10 April 1996 on the reorganization of the Joint Research Centre (OJ L 107, 30.4.1996, p. 12).
(8) 6229/18: Communication from the Commission 'A new, modern Multiannual Financial Framework for a European Union that deliver efficiently on its priorities post-2020' identifies EUR 13 billion spent in main digital activities under the Research and Innovation Framework Programme Horizon 2020 (COM(2018) 98 Final).
(9) 8552/20: Commission amended proposal for a Decision establishing the Specific Programme implementing Horizon Europe (COM (2020) 459).
(10) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 23
(11) With a view to facilitating the implementation of the programme, for each meeting of the Programme Committee as defined in the agenda, the Commission shall reimburse, in accordance with its established guidelines, the expenses of one representative per Member State, as well as one expert/adviser per Member State for those agenda items where a Member State requires specific expertise.
(12) In principle at least 80 %.
(13) The European Data Infrastructure will underpin the European Open Science cloud by providing world-class High Performance Computing capability, high speed connectivity and leading-edge data and software services.
(14) OECD Understanding The Socio-Economic Divide in Europe, 26 January 2017.
(15) The Key Enabling Technologies of the future include advanced materials and nanotechnology, photonics and micro- and nano-electronics, life science technologies, advanced manufacturing and processing, artificial intelligence and digital security and connectivity
(16) "Re-finding industry - defining innovation" Report of the High-Level Strategy Group on Industrial Technologies, Brussels April 2018.
(17) These are public or private facilities that provide resources and services primarily for the European industry to test, validate and demonstrate key enabling technologies and products. Such infrastructures may be single sited, virtual or distributed, and must be registered in a Member State or a third country associated to the Programme.
(18) Substantial reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in other sectors is addressed in other Parts of Pillar II and Horizon Europe in general
(19) The term "alternative energy" does not include energy produced from nuclear energy sources.
(20) The bioeconomy covers all sectors and systems that rely on biological resources (animals, plants, micro-organisms and derived biomass, including organic waste) , their functions and principles. It includes and interlinks: land and marine ecosystems and the services they provide; all primary production sectors that use and produce biological resources (agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture); and all economic and industrial sectors that use biological resources and processes to produce food, feed, bio-based products, energy and services. Biomedicines and health biotechnology are excluded.
(21) ‘Sustainable blue economy’ means all sectoral and cross-sectoral economic activities throughout the single market related to oceans, seas, coasts and inland waters, covering the Union's outermost regions and landlocked countries, including emerging sectors and non-market goods and services and being consistent with Union environmental legislation.'
(22) The expression ‘land and sea’ includes ‘inland waters’ throughout the text of Cluster 6.
(23) COM(2018) 773 final: A Clean Planet for all. A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy
(24) Environmental Observation accessible e.g. through the Copernicus component of the Union Space programme and other relevant European programmes, as well as the GEO initiative will support research and innovation under other intervention areas within this Global Challenge as well as other relevant parts of Horizon Europe.
(25) 12761/16: Commission Staff Working Document: European Research and Innovation for Food and Nutrition Security (SWD(2016) 319 final).
(26) Health biotechnology applications will be addressed by the Health cluster under this pillar.
(27) The activities in Circular Systems Area of Intervention are complementary to those of Low-Carbon and Clean Industry in the Digital and Industry cluster.
(28) Innovation Hub is an umbrella term for a broad variety of skills. It can serve as an active partner, a community, a knowledge centre, a facilitator or a connector that offers access to latest knowledge and expertise on digital and related enabling technologies necessary for companies to become more competitive with regard to production, services and business processes.
(29) Relevant topics may be identified in the context of the Horizon Europe Strategic planning.
(30) Typically as a combination of scientific/technological risks, management/financial risks, market/economical risks and regulatory risks. Unforeseen additional risks may also be taken into account.
(31) As an alternative to a grant when risk is deemed lower than average, a reimbursable advance shall be paid back to the EU on an agreed schedule and then becomes an interest-free loan. In case the beneficiary is not able to reimburse, but can continue its activity, the reimbursable advance shall be transformed into equity. In case of bankruptcy, the reimbursable advance becomes just a grant.
(32) As a principle, the EU is not expected to hold more than a minority of voting rights in companies supported. In exceptional cases, the EU may secure the acquisition of a blocking minority to protect European interests in essential areas, e.g. cyber security.
(33) Such as ERC Proof of Concept, from projects supported under the 'Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness" Pillar, start-ups emerging from the KICs of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. Applications shall also stem from Horizon 2020 activities, particularly project selected under Horizon 2020 SME Phase 2 and related Seal of Excellence financed by Member States, or from (existing and future) European Partnerships.
(34) To ensure seamless continuity, the EIC prizes will take over the management of prizes launched under Horizon 2020. In addition, the EIC Board shall provide for the design and implementation of new inducement prizes and recognition awards.
(35) 8921/18: Commission  Communication of 15 May 2018 'A renewed European Agenda for Research and Innovation - Europe's chance to shape its future' (COM(2018)306, Council Decision of 27 May 2016  (8675/16 ).
(36) The ERA progress report of 2018
(37) 9351/15: Council Conclusions on the ERA Roadmap, 29 May 2015 [To be updated as necessary].
(38) TFEU Article 181.2
(39) The policies and practices to be addressed range from sharing research outputs as early and widely as possible through commonly agreed formats and a shared infrastructure (e.g. the European Open Science Cloud), citizen science, and developing and using new, broader approaches and indicators for evaluating research and rewarding researchers.
(40) The Policy Support Facility (PSF), launched under Horizon 2020. The PSF works on a demand-driven basis and it offers, on a voluntary basis, high level expertise and tailor-made advice to national public authorities. Through its services, it has already been instrumental in provoking policy change in countries such as Poland, Bulgaria, Moldova or Ukraine and in bringing forward policy changes, driven by exchanges of good practice, in areas such as R&D tax incentives, open science, performance-based funding of public research organisations and the inter-operability of national research and innovation programmes.
(41) Including notably the European Charter for researchers, the code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers, EURAXESS and RESAVER Pension Fund.


European Institute of Innovation and Technology ***I
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Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 27 April 2021 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (recast) (COM(2019)0331 – C9-0042/2019 – 2019/0151(COD))
P9_TA(2021)0126

(Ordinary legislative procedure – recast)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2019)0331),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 173(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C9‑0042/2019),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 30 October 2019(1),

–  after consulting the Committee of the Regions,

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 28 November 2001 on a more structured use of the recasting technique for legal acts(2),

–  having regard to the letter of 10 January 2020 sent by the Committee on Legal Affairs to the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy in accordance with Rule 110(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the provisional agreement approved by the responsible committee under Rule 74(4) of its Rules of Procedure and the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 17 February 2021 to approve Parliament’s position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Rules 110 and 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Culture and Education,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A9-0120/2020),

A.  whereas, according to the Consultative Working Party of the legal services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, the Commission proposal does not include any substantive amendments other than those identified as such in the proposal and whereas, as regards the codification of the unchanged provisions of the earlier acts together with those amendments, the proposal contains a straightforward codification of the existing texts, without any change in their substance;

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out, taking into account the recommendations of the Consultative Working Party of the legal services of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it replaces, substantially amends or intends to substantially amend its proposal;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 27 April 2021 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2021/… of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (recast)

P9_TC1-COD(2019)0151


(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 173(3) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(3),

After consulting the Committee of the Regions ▌,

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure(4),

Whereas:

(1)  Regulation (EC) No 294/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council(5) has been substantially amended(6). Since further amendments are to be made, that Regulation should be recast in the interests of clarity.

(2)  The periodic independent evaluations of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and the experience in applying Regulation (EC) No 294/2008 demonstrate that substantial changes are necessary to further improve the EIT model and its underlying processes. Moreover, the interim evaluation and ex-ante impact assessment of the EIT have identified a number of areas for improvement, inter alia the funding model of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), the integration of the KICs in local innovation ecosystems, the openness and transparency of the KICs and monitoring by the EIT. This Regulation also offers the opportunity to address those aspects.

(3)  Member States are primarily responsible for sustaining a strong European industrial, competitive and innovative base. However, the nature and scale of the innovation challenge ▌also require action to be taken collaboratively at Union level.

(4)  The EIT is established to complement existing Union and national policies and initiatives by fostering the integration of the knowledge triangle – higher education, research and innovation – across the Union.

(5)  The EIT should contribute to reinforcing the innovation capacity of the Union and Member States in order to tackle major challenges faced by society, thereby contributing to sustainable Union economic development and competitiveness.

(6)  The EIT, ▌through the KICs, should aim to strengthen innovation ecosystems across the Union in an open and transparent manner. In order to achieve that objective, the EIT should facilitate and enhance networking, integration and cooperation and promote synergies between different innovation communities across Europe. The EIT also aims to deliver on the Union strategic priorities and contribute to the realisation of Union objectives and policies, including those referred to in the communications of the Commission of 11 December 2019 on the European Green Deal, of 27 May 2020 on the EU budget powering the recovery plan for Europe (Recovery Plan for Europe), of 19 February 2020 on a European strategy for data, of 10 March 2020 on an SME Strategy for a sustainable and digital Europe and of 10 March 2020 on a New Industrial Strategy for Europe, and those related to achieving the Union's strategic autonomy, while retaining an open economy. Furthermore, the EIT should contribute to tackling global challenges, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by following the principles of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the ‘2030 Agenda’) and the Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(7) (the ‘Paris Agreement’), and to achieving a net-zero greenhouse gas economy by 2050 at the latest. The transition will be possible only through a boost in research and innovation, which underscores the need to reinforce favourable conditions and investments in enhancing Europe’s knowledge base and research and innovation capacity, in particular in green, climate-friendly technologies and innovations.

(7)  The EIT should enhance the openness of the KICs in order to strengthen collaborative links and create synergies between different innovation communities in Europe, thereby facilitating geographical diversity and the talent circulation.

(8)  The priority fields and financial needs of the EIT for a period of seven years, covering the relevant multiannual financial framework (MFF), should be laid down in a Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA). The SIA should be aligned with Horizon Europe – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon Europe), established by Regulation (EU) 2021/... of the European Parliament and of the Council(8)(9), including with regard to reporting, monitoring, evaluation and other requirements set out in that Regulation, and should take into account the strategic planning of Horizon Europe. The SIA should establish and foster synergies with other parts of Horizon Europe, other relevant Union programmes of the MFF and other relevant Union, national and regional initiatives, policies and instruments, in particular with those supporting research and innovation, education and skills development, sustainable and competitive industry, entrepreneurship and regional development. Given the importance of the SIA for ▌Union innovation policy and the expected socio-economic impact on the Union, the SIA should be adopted by the European Parliament and by the Council on the basis of a Commission proposal. That Commission proposal should be based on a contribution provided by the EIT. That contribution should be made available to the European Parliament and to the Council.

(9)  The crisis resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19 has caused major disruptions to Member States' healthcare and economic systems. Overcoming the social, economic, environmental and technological impacts arising from the crisis will require the collaboration of Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies. The EIT and the KICs should respond with flexibility to existing as well as new and unexpected challenges and priorities, and should be able to adopt measures and initiatives to provide appropriate support to their ecosystems. In particular, the EIT and the KICs should contribute to the innovation efforts that are needed to tackle the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, in accordance with the priorities of the European Green Deal, the Recovery Plan for Europe, the New Industrial Strategy for Europe and the SDGs, while ensuring synergy with other Union initiatives and partnerships.

(10)  In accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/...(10), the activities of the EIT should address strategic long-term challenges ▌, in particular in trans- and inter-disciplinary areas including the development of innovative non-technological solutions as a necessary complement to technology focused innovation activities. In so doing, the EIT should promote regular dialogue with civil society, research organisations, innovation centres, small and medium sized-enterprises (SMEs), higher education institutions (HEIs) and representatives of industry.

(11)  The EIT should, through the KICs, give priority to the transfer of its higher education, research and innovation and entrepreneurial activities to the business context and to their commercial application and support the innovation and entrepreneurial capacity of HEIs and the creation and development of innovative businesses, in complementarity with the European Innovation Council (EIC), as well as other relevant parts of Horizon Europe, and the InvestEU Programme established by Regulation (EU) 2021/523 of the European Parliament and of the Council(11).

(12)  The EIT should ▌operate through excellence-driven Institutionalised European Partnerships of HEIs, research organisations, companies, including SMEs and public companies, as well as local authorities, social enterprises, relevant not-for-profit organisations and other stakeholders. Given the innovative nature of certain enterprises in relation to the goods or services that they offer, their organisation or the production methods that they employ, the promotion of social entrepreneurship and a closer engagement of SMEs and social enterprises that ensures their active participation should be pursued. Those partnerships should aim to become financially sustainable by mobilising funds from other public and private sources and to attract and engage the widest possible range of relevant new partners. They should be selected and designated as KICs by the Governing Board, in accordance with the priority fields and timetable set out in the SIA, taking into account the priorities as set out in the Horizon Europe strategic planning, addressing emerging global and social challenges. They should be selected on the basis of a competitive, open, transparent and excellence-based process, in accordance with this Regulation and with the criteria for the selection of European Partnerships set out in Regulation (EU) 2021/...(12). The first such KIC, to be launched as soon as possible in 2022 or 2023, should relate to Cultural and Creative Sectors and Industries and the second such KIC, to be launched in 2026, should relate to the Water, Marine and Maritime Sectors and Ecosystems.

(13)  Taking into account the specificity of the KICs, it is necessary to provide for special minimum conditions to form a KIC, derogating from the rules for the participation in and dissemination of Horizon Europe. Similarly, specific rules on ownership, access rights, exploitation and dissemination may be necessary for KIC added-value activities, where appropriate.

(14)  The Governing Board should ▌steer and monitor the activities of the EIT and be responsible for the selection, designation, financing, monitoring and evaluation of the activities of the KICs in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/...(13)and the SIA. When appointing the members of the Governing Board, the Commission should ensure a balanced representation of those with experience in the fields of higher education, research, innovation or business, as well as gender balance and geographical coverage, with excellence as a guiding principle.

(15)  The EIT should organise continuous monitoring and periodic external evaluations of the output, results and impact of each KIC, including their progress towards financial sustainability, cost-efficiency and openness to new members. Those evaluations should include interim reviews covering the first three years of the partnership agreement and the three years following any extension, comprehensive assessments conducted before the end of the seventh year of the partnership agreement, and final reviews conducted before the end of the partnership agreement. The Governing Board should take corrective measures in respect of the KICs when appropriate.

(16)  The EIT should regularly inform the Member State Representatives Group (MSRG) of the performance, achievements and activities of the EIT and the KICs, the results of their monitoring and evaluation, and their performance indicators and corrective measures. The MSRG should advise the Governing Board and the Director on strategically important issues and should advise and share experience with the EIT and the KICs. The EIT should organise the meetings of the MSRG.

(17)  In order to contribute to the competitiveness and reinforce the international attractiveness of the European economy and its innovation and entrepreneurial capacity, the EIT and the KICs should be able to attract partner organisations, researchers and students from across the Union, including from the Union’s outermost regions, and beyond, such as by encouraging their mobility ▌.

(18)  Relations between the EIT and the KICs should be based on ▌partnership agreements and grant agreements, which will set out the rights and obligations of the KICs and the EIT’s performance-based financial contribution to the KICs ▌. In order to limit the administrative burden on the KICs and ensure more long-term planning resources and activities, the EIT should conclude multiannual grant agreements of up to three years with the KICs, or, where considered to be more appropriate, annual grant agreements. By way of derogation from Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council(14) (the ‘Financial Regulation’), the EIT should be able to establish such ▌a partnership agreement for an initial period of seven years and, subject to a positive performance and positive outcomes of the interim review and of the comprehensive assessment of the KIC, extend it for a further period of up to seven years. After the expiry of the partnership agreement, the EIT and the KIC may conclude a memorandum of cooperation with the aim of maintaining active cooperation.

(19)  There is a need to support higher education as an integral, but often missing, component of the knowledge triangle. Participating HEIs and vocational education and training providers should award degrees and diplomas through the KICs in accordance with national rules and accreditation procedures. ▌Partnership agreements, grant agreements and memoranda of cooperation between the EIT and the KICs should provide for those degrees and diplomas also to be labelled as EIT degrees and diplomas. In addition, the EIT should strengthen ▌the promotion of the EIT-labelled degrees and diplomas in order to increase their recognition outside the EIT Community and extend their use to lifelong learning programmes, vocational training, skilling, re-skilling and up-skilling programmes. Through its activities and work, the EIT should, in accordance with Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(15), help promote mobility for students, researchers and staff as well as provide opportunities for lifelong learning, mentoring and coaching.

(20)  Appropriate provision should be made to guarantee the liability, openness and transparency of the EIT. Appropriate rules regulating its governance and functioning should be laid down in the Statutes of the EIT.

(21)  The EIT should have legal personality and, in order to guarantee its functional autonomy and independence from national authorities and external pressures, it should administer its own budget whose revenue should include a contribution from the Union.

(22)  It is expected that industry, the financial and service sectors will contribute significantly to the budget of the KICs. The KICs should, in particular, aim to maximise the share of contributions from ▌private sources and from income generated by their activities and to pursue and achieve financial sustainability, at the latest before the expiry of the 15 years of EIT financial support. The KICs and their partner organisations should publicise the fact that their activities are undertaken in the context of the EIT and that they receive a financial contribution from the general budget of the Union. Furthermore, transparency of the funding should be increased by providing publicly available information on which projects are funded and on the allocation of the funding.

(23)  The Union budgetary procedure should be applicable to the Union financial contribution chargeable to the general budget of the Union. The auditing of accounts should be undertaken by the Court of Auditors in accordance with the Financial Regulation.

(24)  The EIT should make best efforts to facilitate a smooth transition between MFF periods, in particular for ongoing activities.

(25)  The revenue of the EIT should include the contribution from the Union provided from the financial contribution from Horizon Europe. That revenue should be able to include contributions from other private and public sources.

(26)  The EIT is a body set up by the Union within the meaning of Article 70 of the Financial Regulation and should adopt its financial rules accordingly. Consequently, Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/715(16) should apply to the EIT.

(27)  The EIT should adopt a consolidated annual activity report, outlining the activities conducted and results of the operations in the preceding calendar year. The EIT should also adopt a single programming document, based on the SIA, in accordance with its financial rules, outlining its planned initiative in terms of annual and multiannual programming and allowing the EIT to respond to internal and external developments in the fields of research, society, technology, higher education, innovation and other relevant areas. That single programming document should be transmitted to the European Parliament and to the Council for information.

(28)  Since its creation, the EIT has benefited from the expertise of its staff. However, due to the legal framework applicable under Regulation (EC) No 294/2008, some of those staff contracts have expired without the possibility of renewal. To avoid such a situation in the future, and given the importance of human expertise for the success of EIT activities, it is in the EIT’s best interests to make every effort, within the applicable legal framework, to attract and retain qualified staff.

(29)  It is appropriate that the Commission initiate independent, external evaluations of the operation of the EIT, including the activities managed through the KICs, in particular with a view to preparing the SIA. Those evaluations should examine how the EIT fulfils its mission and objectives and cover the activities of the EIT and the KICs. They should assess the Union added value of the EIT, the impact across the Union and the impact of the Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS) activities, the openness, effectiveness, efficiency, outreach activities, communication, visibility, dissemination of results, the relevance of the activities pursued and whether they are consistent with and complement relevant Union and national policies, including any synergies with other parts of Horizon Europe. Those evaluations should feed into the Horizon Europe evaluations carried out by the Commission in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/...(17).

(30)  The EIT should make best efforts to streamline the terminology related to the structure of each KIC, with the purpose of further simplifying and enhancing the recognisability of the EIT.

(31)  In order to contribute to tackling disparities in innovation in Europe, the EIT should, in particular through the RIS, as further set out in the SIA, support the innovation capacity of countries and regions, aim to strengthen innovation ecosystems to tackle global challenges and integrate new partner organisations in the KICs.

(32)  The KICs, acting as an innovation facilitator, should consider Member States’ smart specialisation strategy priorities and enhance their innovation capacity by fully reflecting regional capacities and strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, as well as local actors and their activities and markets.

(33)  It is essential to promote strong synergies between the EIT and the EIC. The KICs should stimulate the creation of innovative businesses in close synergy with the EIC, while avoiding duplication, and EIT beneficiaries should be able to apply to the EIC instruments for support additional to the services provided by the KICs. In particular, start-ups with a high growth potential supported by KICs should have simplified and thereby faster access to EIC actions in accordance with the relevant provisions of Regulation (EU) 2021/...(18) in order to help them scale up rapidly, while the EIC beneficiaries should benefit from support schemes provided by the EIT. In order to avoid silos and promote synergies and collaboration, the EIT and the EIC should envisage reciprocal and systematic exchanges of information. The Governing Board should be able to invite members of the EIC Board to its meetings as observers where relevant.

(34)  In order to ensure the continuity of the activities of the EIT and the KICs in compliance with the relevant provisions of Regulation (EU) 2021/...(19), this Regulation should enter into force as a matter of urgency and certain provisions thereof should apply, with retroactive effect, from 1 January 2021.

(35)  Since the objectives of this Regulation cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States but can rather, for reasons of scale and transnationality, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

Subject matter

This Regulation establishes the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

Article 2

Definitions

For the purpose of this Regulation, the following definitions apply:

(1)  ‘innovation’ means the process, including its outcome, by which new ideas respond to societal, economic or environmental needs and demand and generate new products, processes, services, or business, organisational and social models that are successfully introduced into an existing market or that are able to create new markets and that provide value to society;

(2)  ‘Knowledge and Innovation Community’ or ‘KIC’ means a large-scale Institutionalised European Partnership, as referred to in Regulation (EU) 2021/...(20), of higher education institutions, research organisations, companies and other stakeholders in the innovation process in the form of a strategic network, regardless of its legal form, based on joint mid- to long-term innovation planning to meet the EIT challenges and contribute to attaining the objectives established under Regulation (EU) 2021/...+;

(3)  'co-location centre' means a physical hub, established in an open and transparent manner, which promotes links between and active collaboration among knowledge triangle actors and acts as a focal point for knowledge exchange and through which the KICs' partners are able to access facilities and the expertise needed to pursue their common objectives;

(4)  ‘RIS hub’ means a physical hub, established by a KIC and forming part of its structure, in a Member State or in an associated country targeted by the RIS that serves as focal point for the KIC’s activities and for the mobilisation and involvement of local knowledge triangle actors in the activities of the KIC;

(5)  ‘partner organisation’ means a legal entity which is a member of a KIC and may include, in particular, higher education institutions, vocational education and training providers, research organisations, public institutions, public or private companies, financial institutions, regional and local authorities, foundations and not-for-profit organisations;

(6)  ‘research organisation’ means a public or private legal entity which undertakes research or technological development as one of its main objectives;

(7)  ‘higher education institution’ or ‘HEI’ means a university or any type of higher education institution which, in accordance with national law or practice, offers degrees and diplomas in particular at master's or doctoral level, regardless of its denomination in the national context;

(8)  ‘EIT Community’ means the EIT and the active community of individuals and legal entities which benefited or benefit from the EIT support or financial contribution ▌;

(9)  ‘Strategic Innovation Agenda’ or ‘SIA’ means an act setting out the priority fields and the ▌strategy of the EIT for future initiatives, the EIT's capacity to generate the best innovation added-value, the EIT's objectives, key actions, mode of operation, expected results and impact, as well as an estimate of the resources needed for the period of Horizon Europe and the ▌MFF;

(10)  ‘Regional Innovation Scheme’ or ‘RIS’ means a scheme fostering the integration of the knowledge triangle and the innovation capacity of countries (and regions in those countries) that are classified as ‘moderate’ or ‘modest’ innovators in the European Innovation Scoreboard as referred to in the SIA and of the outermost regions within the meaning of Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), in particular by attracting and integrating new partners into the KICs and bridging regional disparities, thereby mitigating the innovation divide;

(11)  ‘stakeholder forum’ means a platform open to representatives of Union institutions, national, regional and local authorities, organised interests and individual entities from business, higher education, research, associations, civil society and cluster organisations, as well as other interested parties from across the knowledge triangle;

(12)  ‘KIC business plan’ means a document annexed to the grant agreement covering a period of up to three years, describing the KIC's objectives, the manner in which they are to be achieved, the expected results, the planned KIC added-value activities and the related financial needs and resources, including the actions aiming to achieve financial sustainability and increase the KIC’s openness to new partners from across the Union;

(13)  ’KIC added-value activities’ means activities carried out by ▌partner organisations in accordance with the KIC business plan, contributing to the integration of the knowledge triangle of higher education, research and innovation, including the establishment, administrative and coordination activities of the KICs, and contributing to the overall objectives of the EIT;

(14)  ‘cross-KIC activities’ means activities that aim to enhance cooperation and synergies between KICs, foster a more inter-disciplinary approach and create a critical mass among KICs to tackle topics of common interest;

(15)  ‘memorandum of cooperation’ means an agreement between the EIT and a KIC, aiming to keep the KIC as an active member of the EIT Community after the expiry of the ▌partnership agreement, and which includes the conditions for access to EIT competitive calls for some specific activities and transnational activities with a high Union added value;

(16)  ‘financial sustainability’ means a capacity of a KIC to finance its knowledge triangle activities independently ▌of contributions from the EIT.

Article 3

Mission and objectives

1.  The EIT’s mission is to contribute to sustainable Union economic growth and competitiveness by reinforcing the innovation capacity of the Union and Member States in order to address major challenges faced by ▌society. It shall do this by promoting synergies, integration and cooperation among ▌higher education, research and innovation of the highest standards, including by fostering entrepreneurship, thereby strengthening the innovation ecosystems across the Union in an open and transparent manner. The EIT shall also deliver on the Union strategic priorities and contribute to the realisation of Union objectives and policies, including the European Green Deal, the European Recovery Plan, the European strategy for data, the SME Strategy for a sustainable and digital Europe and the New Industrial Strategy for Europe and those related to achieving the Union's strategic autonomy, while retaining an open economy. Furthermore, it shall contribute to tackling global challenges, including the SDGs by following the principles of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, and to achieving a net-zero greenhouse gas economy by 2050 at the latest.

2.   For the budget period of 2021-2027, the EIT shall contribute to delivering on the general and specific objectives of Horizon Europe, fully taking into account its strategic planning.

Article 4

SIA

1.  The SIA shall set out the priority fields and strategy of the EIT for the seven-year period concerned in accordance with the objectives and the priorities of Horizon Europe set out in Regulation (EU) 2021/...(21), and shall include an assessment of the EIT's expected socio-economic impact, its outreach activities and its capacity to generate the best innovation added-value. The SIA shall be aligned with reporting, monitoring and evaluation and other requirements set out in Regulation (EU) 2021/...+ and shall take into account the results of the continuous monitoring and periodic independent evaluation of the EIT as referred to in Article 20 of this Regulation.

2.  The SIA shall take into account the strategic ▌planning of Horizon Europe ensuring consistency with the challenges of that programme, as well as complementarity with the EIC established by Regulation (EU) 2021/...+, and shall ▌establish and foster appropriate synergies and complementarities between EIT activities and other relevant Union, national and regional programmes supporting research and innovation, education and skills development, sustainable and competitive industry, entrepreneurship and regional development.

3.  The SIA shall include an estimate of financial needs and sources in view of the future operation, long-term development and funding of the EIT. It shall also contain an indicative financial plan covering the period of the relevant MFF.

4.  The EIT shall, after consulting the existing KICs and taking their opinions into account, prepare a contribution to the Commission’s proposal on the SIA and submit it to the Commission. The EIT contribution shall be made public.

5.  Acting on the proposal from the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council shall adopt the SIA in accordance with Article 173(3) TFEU.

Article 5

Bodies of the EIT and the Member State Representatives Group

1.  The bodies of the EIT shall comprise those set out in this paragraph.

A Governing Board shall be composed of high-level members with proven experience in the fields of higher education, research, innovation or business. The Governing Board shall be responsible for steering and monitoring the activities of the EIT, for the selection, designation, financing, monitoring and evaluation of the KICs, including taking appropriate corrective measures in the event of underperformance of the KICs, and ▌ other strategic decisions. The selection of the Governing Board shall take into account criteria concerning gender and geographical balance. The Governing Board shall elect a Chairperson from among its members.

An Executive Committee shall be composed of selected members representing all three components of the knowledge triangle and the Chairperson of the Governing Board. The Executive Committee shall assist the Governing Board in the performance of its tasks and shall prepare the meetings of the Governing Board in cooperation with the Director.

A Director shall be appointed by the Governing Board. The Director ▌shall act as the legal representative of the EIT and shall be responsible for the implementation of the Governing Board’s decisions, and the EIT’s operations and day-to-day management. ▌

An Internal Auditing Function shall operate in complete independence and in compliance with the relevant international standards. The Internal Auditing Function shall advise the Governing Board and the Director on financial and administrative management and control structures within the EIT, on the organisation of financial links with the KICs and on any other subject requested by the Governing Board.

2.  Detailed provisions regarding the bodies of the EIT are provided for in the Statutes of the EIT, which are set out in Annex I.

3.   The Member State Representatives Group (MSRG) shall be established.

The MSRG shall be composed of one representative from each Member State and each associated country.

The MSRG shall advise the Governing Board and the Director:

(a)  on the extension or termination of the EIT’s partnership agreements with the KICs, as referred to in point 6 of Section 3 of Annex I;

(b)  on the conclusion of a memorandum of cooperation with each KIC, as referred to in point 6 of Section 3 of Annex I; and

(c)  on strategically important issues to the EIT other than those referred to in points (a) and (b), sharing experience with regard thereto.

The MSRG shall also advise and share experience with the KICs.

The MSRG shall be regularly informed of the performance, achievements and activities of the EIT and the KICs, the results of their monitoring and evaluation, and their performance indicators and corrective measures. The MSRG shall provide its opinion in regard thereto.

The MSRG shall facilitate appropriate synergies and complementarities between EIT and KIC activities with national programmes and initiatives, including the potential national co-financing of KIC activities.

Article 6

Tasks

In order to achieve its mission and objectives set out in Article 3, the EIT shall undertake at least the following:

(a)  identify, in accordance with the SIA, its main priorities and activities, and implement them in accordance with the applicable provisions of Regulation (EU) 2021/...(22);

(b)  ensure openness to and raise awareness among potential new partner organisations and encourage their participation in its activities, in particular SMEs and emerging centres of excellence, across the Union, including through the RIS, by building on existing networks of information and structures;

(c)  select and designate KICs in accordance with Article 9 and set out the KICs’ rights and obligations by means of ▌partnership agreements and grant agreements, supervise and provide the KICs with appropriate support and strategic guidance by appropriate quality control measures, continuous monitoring and periodic external evaluation of their activities in accordance with Article 11, and take corrective measures where appropriate;

(d)  steer the implementation of the RIS, including through the implementation of RIS hubs by the KICs;

(e)  ensure an appropriate level of coordination and facilitate communication and thematic cooperation between the KICs and launch calls for cross-KIC activities and shared services;

(f)  ensure the widespread implementation of EIT-labelled degrees and diplomas by KICs, strengthen their promotion outside the EIT Community ▌and ▌extend them to lifelong learning programmes;

(g)  promote the dissemination of best practices for the integration of the knowledge triangle, including among the KICs and across the Union, inter alia through the RIS, in order to develop a common innovation and knowledge transfer culture, and to encourage the openness of KICs to new members through outreach activities ▌;

(h)  promote the wide dissemination, communication and exploitation of the results and opportunities emerging from the EIT Community in order to increase the awareness, visibility and knowledge of the EIT across the Union, as well as to encourage participation in EIT Community activities;

(i)  support the KICs in the development of an effective financial sustainability strategy for the mobilisation of funds from other public and private sources;

(j)  foster excellence in higher education, research and innovation, in particular by promoting the KICs as excellent innovation partners;

(k)  promote multidisciplinary approaches to innovation, across all sectors, including through the integration of technological, social and non-technological solutions, sustainability and climate neutrality by design, organisational approaches, focus on entrepreneurship and new business models;

(l)  ensure synergies and complementarities between the activities of the EIT and other Union programmes, where appropriate, in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/...(23);

(m)  foster the discussion and exchange and dissemination of expertise and knowhow between KICs with regard to innovative intellectual property rights models, with the aim of promoting knowledge transfer and dissemination, both within the context of the KICs and more widely across the Union;

(n)  provide the necessary support and foster synergies with the KICs to develop innovative solutions;

(o)  organise regular meetings, at least every two years, of a stakeholder forum to share and discuss the activities of the EIT, its experiences, best practices and contribution to Union innovation, research and education policies and objectives, as well as other Union policies and objectives when relevant, and to allow stakeholders to express their views;

(p)  organise meetings of the MSRG, at least twice a year, independently from the meetings of the stakeholder forum;

(q)  facilitate the establishment of EIT Community shared services facilities;

(r)  encourage the networking, over time, of the RIS hubs and co-location centres in Member States in order to facilitate their cooperation within the EIT Community and with the local innovation ecosystems;

(s)  monitor the implementation of activities to be undertaken by the KICs for the development of the entrepreneurial and innovation capacity of their member organisations, in particular HEIs, vocational education and training providers, SMEs and start-ups and their integration in innovation ecosystems, throughout the Union and in line with the knowledge triangle approach;

(t)  design, in cooperation with the Commission and after consulting the KICs, launch and coordinate a pilot initiative supporting the innovation and entrepreneurial capacities of higher education institutions and their integration in innovation ecosystems (pilot higher education initiative), which is to be implemented by the KICs.

Article 7

KICs

1.  The KICs shall undertake at least the following:

(a)  innovation activities and investments with Union added value, including facilitating the creation of innovative start-ups and the development of innovative businesses in complementarity with the EIC and the InvestEU Programme, fully integrating the higher education and research dimensions to attain a critical mass and stimulating the dissemination and exploitation of results;

(b)  innovation-driven research, experimentation, prototyping and demonstration in areas of key economic, environmental and societal interest and drawing on the results stemming from Union and national research, with the potential to strengthen the Union’s competitiveness at international level and find solutions for the major challenges faced by European society, including those relating to health and the digital market;

(c)  education and training activities in particular at master's and doctoral level, as well as professional training courses, in areas with the potential to meet future European socio-economic and socio-ecological needs and which expand the Union’s talent base, promote the development of innovation-related skills, the improvement of managerial and entrepreneurial skills and the mobility of researchers and students, and foster knowledge-sharing, mentoring and networking among the recipients of EIT education and training activities, including those that are EIT-labelled;

(d)  actions as part of the pilot higher education initiative to better integrate HEIs in innovation value chains and ecosystems and bring them together with other key innovation players from the knowledge triangle and thereby improve their innovation and entrepreneurial capacity;

(e)  outreach activities and the dissemination of best practices in the field of innovation ▌with a focus on ▌the development of cooperation between higher education, research and business, including the service and financial sectors, and, where relevant, public and third sector organisations;

(f)  RIS activities, fully integrated in the KICs’ multiannual strategy and linked to the relevant smart specialisation strategies as defined in point (2) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) 2021/...(24) in order to strengthen innovation capacity and to develop sustainable innovation ecosystems with a view to decreasing the disparities and divide in innovation performance across the Union;

(g)  to seek synergies and complementarities between KIC activities and existing Union, national and regional programmes, in particular the EIC, other European Partnerships and missions of Horizon Europe, as appropriate;

(h)  to mobilise funds from public and private sources, in particular seeking to raise an increasing proportion of their budget from private sources and from income generated by their own activities, in accordance with Article 18;

(i)  to provide, on request, information on research and innovation outputs and results, and related intellectual rights, developed pursuant to the activities of the KICs, and on the relevant inventors.

2.  Without prejudice to the ▌partnership agreements and grant agreements between the EIT and the KICs, the KICs shall have substantial ▌autonomy to establish their internal organisation and composition, as well as their ▌agenda and working methods, provided that they result in progress towards achieving the objectives of the EIT and the KICs, while taking into account the strategic planning of Horizon Europe and the strategic direction of the EIT set out in the SIA and by the Governing Board.

In particular, the KICs shall:

(a)  establish internal transparent governance arrangements which reflect the knowledge triangle of higher education, research and innovation;

(b)  ensure and promote their openness through clear and transparent accession and exit criteria, including through open calls, to potential new partner organisations across the Union that add value to the partnership;

(c)  establish internal rules, including codes of conduct, that ensure their functioning in an open and transparent manner ▌;

(d)  establish and implement their business plans;

(e)  establish and implement strategies for achieving financial sustainability.

3.  KICs may adopt measures and initiatives aiming to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, in particular actions aiming to increase the resilience of microenterprises, SMEs and start-ups, as well as students, researchers and employees.

4.  The relationship between the EIT and each KIC shall be based on a ▌partnership agreement, a grant agreement or, subject to Article 12, a memorandum of cooperation.

Article 8

Rules for participation and dissemination

The rules for the participation in and dissemination of Horizon Europe shall apply. By way of derogation from those rules:

(a)  the minimum conditions to form a KIC are set out in Article 9(3) and (4) of this Regulation;

(b)  specific rules on ownership, access rights, exploitation and dissemination may apply for KIC added-value activities, where appropriate.

Article 9

Selection and designation of the KICs

1.  A partnership shall be selected and designated by the EIT as a KIC following a competitive, open and transparent procedure. The conditions and criteria laid down in Regulation (EU) 2021/...(25), inter alia in Article 28(3) thereof, as well as the criteria for the selection of European Partnerships, shall apply. The Governing Board may further specify those criteria, by adopting and publishing criteria for the selection of the KICs based on the principles of excellence and innovation relevance in delivering on global challenges and Union policy priorities.

2.  The EIT shall launch the selection and designation of KICs according to the priority fields and timetable set out in the SIA, taking into account the priorities set out in the strategic planning of Horizon Europe.

3.  The minimum condition to form a KIC is the participation of at least three independent partner organisations, that are comprised of at least one HEI, one research organisation and one private company and that are established in at least three different Member States.

4.  In addition to the condition set out in paragraph 3, at least two thirds of the partner organisations forming a KIC shall be established in the Member States.

5.  The EIT shall adopt and publish criteria and procedures for financing, monitoring and evaluating the activities of the KICs prior to the launching of the selection procedure for new KICs. The EIT shall promptly inform the MSRG and the European Parliament of those criteria and procedures.

Article 10

Principles for the evaluation and monitoring of KICs

The EIT shall, on the basis of indicators and monitoring provisions set out, inter alia, in Regulation (EU) 2021/...(26) and in the SIA, and in close cooperation with the Commission, organise continuous monitoring and periodic external evaluations of the output, results and impact of each KIC, including the progress of the KICs towards financial sustainability, cost-efficiency and openness to new members.

The results of such monitoring and evaluations shall be submitted to the European Parliament and to the Council and shall be made public.

Article 11

Duration, extension and termination of a partnership agreement

1.  By way of derogation from point (c) of Article 130(4) of the Financial Regulation, the EIT may establish a ▌partnership agreement with a KIC for an initial period of seven years.

2.  On the basis of a continuous monitoring of the KICs in accordance with Article 10, the EIT shall, under the supervision of the Governing Board, conduct interim reviews of the performance and activities of the KICs covering the first three years of the partnership agreement.

In the case of an extension of the partnership agreement, the EIT shall conduct such interim reviews covering the first three years following its extension.

The Governing Board shall make those interim reviews public.

3.  Before expiry of the seven-year period referred to in paragraph 1, the EIT shall, under the supervision of the Governing Board, conduct a comprehensive assessment of the performance and activities of each KIC, with the support of independent external experts.

4.  After consulting the MSRG, the Governing Board may extend the ▌partnership agreement ▌for a further period of up to seven years or discontinue the EIT’s financial contribution and not extend the ▌partnership agreement with a KIC on the basis of:

(a)  the outcome of the interim review referred to in the first subparagraph of paragraph 2; and

(b)  the outcome of a comprehensive assessment referred to in paragraph 3.

The EIT shall inform the European Parliament and the Council before extending the seven-year period referred to in paragraph 1.

5.  For the purpose of deciding whether to extend the partnership agreement with a KIC under paragraph 4, the Governing Board shall take into account the criteria for implementing, monitoring and evaluating the European Partnerships set out in Regulation (EU) 2021/...(27)and, with regard to the KICs, the following matters:

(a)  their relevance to the Union’s global challenges;

(b)  their Union added value and relevance with regard to the objectives of the EIT;

(c)  the achievement of their objectives;

(d)  their efforts to coordinate their activities with other relevant research and innovation initiatives;

(e)  their capacity to ensure openness to new members;

(f)  their achievements in attracting new members from across the Union;

(g)  their compliance with good governance principles;

(h)  their efforts and results in designing and implementing gender-sensitive measures and activities; and

(i)  their capacity to develop sustainable innovation ecosystems and the achieved level of financial sustainability.

6.  In the event that the continuous monitoring, an interim review or the comprehensive assessment of a KIC referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Article shows inadequate progress in areas referred to in Article 10 or a lack of Union added value, the Governing Board shall take appropriate corrective measures, including the reduction, modification or withdrawal of the EIT’s financial contribution or the termination of the ▌partnership agreement.

7.  The EIT shall, under the supervision of the Governing Board, conduct a final review of the performance and activities of the KIC before the expiry of the partnership agreement. Subject to the positive outcome of a final review before the expiry of the partnership agreement, the EIT may conclude a memorandum of cooperation with a KIC.

Article 12

Memorandum of cooperation

1.  The duration, content and structure of the memorandum of cooperation shall be established by the Governing Board, taking into account an in-depth, independent study. The study shall include an assessment of the KIC’s efforts to achieve financial sustainability, the revenues generated and the KIC’s financial outlook. In addition, the assessment shall identify any activities the continuation of which might be at risk due to a lack of resources.

2.  The memorandum of cooperation shall include:

(a)  rights and obligations linked to the continuation of the knowledge triangle activities as well as the maintenance of the KIC’s ecosystem and network;

(b)  conditions for the use of the EIT brand and participation in EIT Awards and in other initiatives organised by the EIT;

(c)  conditions for the participation in higher education and training activities including the use of the EIT label for education and training programmes and relations with the EIT Alumni Community;

(d)  conditions for participation in EIT competitive calls for some specific activities, including cross-KIC activities and shared services;

(e)  conditions for additional support from the EIT for transnational coordination activities among the co-location centres with a high Union added value.

3.  Where no memorandum of cooperation is concluded, the KIC shall not use the EIT brand for its activities.

Article 13

Degrees and diplomas

1.  Degrees and diplomas relating to the higher education activities referred to in point (c) of Article 7(1) shall be awarded by participating HEIs and vocational education and training providers in accordance with national rules and accreditation procedures. The ▌partnership agreements, grant agreements and memoranda of cooperation between the EIT and the KICs shall provide for such degrees and diplomas also to be labelled as EIT degrees and diplomas.

2.  The EIT shall encourage participating HEIs and vocational education and training providers to:

(a)  award joint or multiple degrees and diplomas, reflecting the integrated nature of the KICs, which may also be awarded by a single HEI or vocational education and training provider;

(b)  disseminate best practices on horizontal issues;

(c)  promote and publicise the EIT label in their training and diplomas;

(d)  develop different strategies with the aim of promoting effective cooperation with innovation ecosystems and businesses and fostering an entrepreneurial mind-set;

(e)  create programmes focusing on lifelong learning and certification;

(f)  pay special attention to gender balance and gender-sensitive approaches, in particular in areas where women continue to be underrepresented, such as information and communications technology, science, technology, engineering and mathematics;

(g)  take into account:

(i)  Union action undertaken in accordance with Articles 165 and 166 TFEU;

(ii)  action undertaken in the context of the European Higher Education Area.

Article 14

Operational independence of the EIT and consistency with Union, Member State or intergovernmental action

1.  The EIT shall carry out its activities independently of national authorities and external pressures, while ensuring that such activities are consistent, through coordination, with other actions and instruments to be implemented at Union level, in particular in the fields of higher education, research and innovation.

2.  The EIT shall also seek synergies and complementarities by taking appropriate account of policies and initiatives at regional, national and intergovernmental levels in order to make use of best practices, well-established concepts and existing resources.

The Commission shall offer the EIT the necessary support in establishing appropriate synergies and complementarities with other activities undertaken under Regulation (EU) 2021/...(28), as well as other Union initiatives and programmes, while avoiding duplication.

The Commission shall provide recommendations to the EIT on how to reduce the administrative burden on KICs.

Article 15

Legal status

1.  The EIT shall be a Union body and shall have legal personality. In each Member State, it shall enjoy the widest possible legal capacity accorded to legal persons under national law. In particular, it may acquire and dispose of movable and immovable property and be a party to legal proceedings.

2.  Protocol No 7 on the privileges and immunities of the European Union annexed to the TEU and to the TFEU shall apply to the EIT.

Article 16

Liability

1.  The EIT shall be solely responsible for meeting its obligations.

2.  The contractual liability of the EIT shall be governed by the relevant contractual provisions and the law applicable to the contract in question.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (the ‘Court of Justice’) shall have jurisdiction pursuant to any arbitration clause contained in a contract concluded by the EIT.

3.  In the case of non-contractual liability, the EIT shall, in accordance with the general principles common to the laws of the Member States, make good any damage caused by it or by its members of staff in the performance of their duties.

The Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction in any dispute relating to compensation for such damage.

4.  Any payment by the EIT for covering the liability referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3 and the costs and expenses incurred in connection therewith shall be considered expenditure of the EIT and shall be covered by the resources of the EIT.

5.  The Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction in actions brought against the EIT in accordance with Articles 263 and 265 TFEU.

Article 17

Transparency and access to documents

1.  The EIT and the KICs shall ensure that their activities are conducted with a high level of transparency. In particular, the EIT and the KICs shall set up an accessible, free website that provides information about their activities and the opportunities they offer, in particular with regard to open calls.

2.  The EIT and the KICs shall make available detailed information on calls for proposals issued by them, including the information on their evaluation processes and results from those calls for proposals. That information shall be made available in a timely, searchable and traceable manner in the relevant common online databases of Union-funded research and innovation projects, in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/...(29).

3.  Before issuing calls for proposals for the selection of the KICs, the EIT shall make public its rules of procedure, its specific financial rules referred to in Article 23(1) and the criteria for the selection of the KICs referred to in Article 9.

4.  The EIT shall make public without delay its single programming document and consolidated annual activity report referred to in Article 19.

5.  Without prejudice to paragraphs 6 and 7, the EIT shall not divulge to third parties confidential information it has received for which confidential treatment has been requested and is justified.

6.  The members of the EIT bodies shall be subject to the confidentiality requirement referred to in Article 339 TFEU.

The information gathered by the EIT in accordance with this Regulation shall be subject to Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council(30).

7.  Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council(31) shall apply to the documents held by the EIT.

8.  Council Regulation No 1(32) shall apply to the EIT. The translation services required for the functioning of the EIT shall be provided by the Translation Centre for the bodies of the European Union, set up by Council Regulation (EC) No 2965/1994(33).

Article 18

Financing of the KICs

1.  The KICs shall be financed, in particular, from the following sources:

(a)  contributions from partner organisations, forming a substantial source of funding;

(b)  voluntary contributions from Member States, associated countries or other third countries or public authorities within those Member States or countries;

(c)  contributions from international bodies or institutions;

(d)  revenue generated by the KICs’ own assets and activities and royalties from intellectual property rights;

(e)  capital endowments;

(f)  bequests, donations and contributions from individuals, institutions, foundations or any other bodies established under national law;

(g)  the financial contribution from the EIT;

(h)  financial instruments, including those funded from the general budget of the Union.

2.  The conditions for accessing the financial contribution from the EIT shall be established in the financial rules of the EIT referred to in Article 23(1).

3.  Budgetary commitments for actions extending over more than one financial year may be broken down over several years into annual instalments, subject to adequate monitoring of estimated financial needs of the KICs to be established on an annual basis.

4.  The EIT financial contribution to the KICs may cover up to 100 % of the total eligible costs of KIC added-value activities in the initial stages of a KIC’s life cycle. Such a contribution shall gradually decrease over time in accordance with the funding rates set in the SIA.

5.  The KICs and their partner organisations may apply for Union funding, in particular in the framework of Union programmes and funds, in accordance with the relevant rules. Such funding shall not cover costs already funded under another Union programme.

6.  Contributions from partner organisations to the financing of the KICs shall be determined in accordance with the funding rates referred to in paragraph 4 and reflect the KICs’ strategy for achieving financial sustainability.

7.  The EIT shall establish a performance-based allocation mechanism for granting ▌its financial contribution to the KICs. It shall include assessing the KICs’ business plans and performance as measured by continuous monitoring in accordance with Article 10 and as set out in the SIA.

Article 19

Programming and reporting

1.  The EIT shall adopt a single programming document based on the SIA, in accordance with its financial rules referred to in Article 23(1), containing the following:

(a)  a statement of the major priorities and planned initiatives of the EIT and the KICs;

(b)  an estimate of financing needs and sources;

(c)  an estimate of the staffing needs arising from new tasks;

(d)  appropriate qualitative and quantitative methods, tools and indicators for monitoring the activities of the EIT and the KICs, using an impact-oriented and performance-based approach;

(e)  other components as laid down in its financial rules.

2.  The EIT shall adopt a consolidated annual activity report, which shall include comprehensive information on the activities conducted by the EIT and the KICs during the preceding calendar year and on the EIT’s contribution to the objectives of Horizon Europe, and to the Union innovation, research and education policies and objectives. The consolidated annual activity report shall assess the results with respect to the objectives, indicators and timetable set, the risks associated with the activities carried out, the use of resources, including its contribution to the climate mainstreaming target under Regulation (EU) 2021/...(34) broken down by KIC, and the general operation of the EIT. The consolidated annual activity report shall include further comprehensive information in accordance with the EIT’s financial rules.

By ... [one year after the date of entry into force of this Regulation] and on an annual basis thereafter, the Director shall submit the consolidated annual activity report to the competent committees of the European Parliament.

Article 20

Monitoring and evaluation of the EIT

1.  The EIT shall ensure that its activities, including those managed through the KICs, shall be subject to continuous and systematic monitoring and periodic independent evaluation in accordance with its financial rules, to ensure both the highest quality of outcome, scientific excellence and the most efficient use of resources. The outcomes of the monitoring and of the evaluations shall be made public.

2.  The Commission, with the assistance of independent external experts and taking into account the views of stakeholders, shall carry out, in a timely manner, an interim and a final evaluation of the EIT and the KICs. Those evaluations shall feed into the Horizon Europe evaluations provided for in Article 52 of Regulation (EU) 2021/...(35).

Those evaluations shall examine how the EIT fulfils its mission and objectives and cover activities of the EIT and the KICs. They shall assess the Union added value of the EIT, the impact across the Union and the impact of the RIS activities, openness, effectiveness, ▌efficiency and relevance of the EIT activities pursued and their consistency and ▌complementarity with relevant Union and national policies, including the synergies with other parts of Horizon Europe, in particular the other European Partnerships and missions and the EIC.

The interim evaluation shall also assess, inter alia, the result and impacts of the pilot higher education initiative, the effectiveness of the KICs’ financial sustainability strategies and the collaboration between the EIT and implementing bodies under Pillar III 'Innovative Europe' of Horizon Europe. In that respect, the EIT evaluations shall feed into Horizon Europe evaluations, also in view of a systematic assessment of the Pillar III 'Innovative Europe' of Horizon Europe, in particular with respect to the one-stop shop for innovation.

3.  The Commission may carry out further evaluations of themes or topics of strategic relevance, with the assistance of independent external experts selected on the basis of a transparent process, to examine the progress made by the EIT towards the objectives set, identify the factors contributing to the implementation of the activities and identify best practices. By carrying out those further evaluations, the Commission shall fully consider the administrative burden on the EIT and the KICs.

4.  The Commission shall communicate the results of the evaluations, accompanied by its observations, to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. The Governing Board shall take due account of the findings of evaluations in carrying out the programmes and operations of the EIT.

Article 21

The EIT’s budget

1.  The revenue of the EIT shall consist of a contribution from the Union. The revenue of the EIT may also include contributions from other private and public sources.

The Union contribution shall be provided from a financial contribution from Horizon Europe set at EUR 2 726 000 000 in current prices, with an additional amount of EUR 210 000 000 in constant 2018 prices, for the period 2021-2027.

The EIT may receive additional financial resources from other Union programmes.

2.  The EIT financial contribution to the KICs shall be provided from the Union contribution referred in paragraph 1.

Article 22

Preparation and adoption of the EIT’s annual budget

1.  The content and structure of the EIT’s budget shall be established in accordance with its financial rules. The expenditure of the EIT shall include staff remuneration, administrative and infrastructure expenses and operational expenditure. Administrative expenses shall be kept to a minimum. The EIT’s budget shall be balanced in terms of revenue and expenditure.

2.  The Director shall draw up a draft estimate of the EIT’s revenue and expenditure for the following financial year and shall forward it to the Governing Board.

3.  The Governing Board shall adopt the draft estimate of the EIT’s revenue and expenditure, accompanied by a draft establishment plan, and shall forward them as a part of the single programming document by the date specified in the EIT’s financial rules to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission.

4.  The Governing Board shall adopt the EIT’s budget. The EIT’s budget shall become final following the final adoption of the general budget of the Union. Where appropriate, it shall be adjusted accordingly.

5.  The Governing Board shall, as soon as possible, notify the budgetary authority of its intention to implement any project which may have significant financial implications for the funding of the EIT’s budget, in particular any projects relating to property such as the rental or purchase of buildings. It shall inform the Commission thereof.

6.  Any substantial modification of the EIT’s budget shall follow the same procedure.

Article 23

Implementation and control of the budget

1.  The EIT shall adopt its financial rules in accordance with Article 70(3) of the Financial Regulation. Appropriate consideration shall be given to the need for adequate operational flexibility in order to enable the EIT to achieve its objectives and attract and retain private sector partners.

2.  The financial contribution to the EIT from Horizon Europe and other Union programmes shall be implemented in accordance with the rules of those programmes.

3.  The Director shall implement the budget of the EIT.

4.  The accounts of the EIT shall be consolidated with the Commission’s accounts.

Article 24

Protection of the financial interests of the Union

1.  With a view to combating fraud, corruption and other illegal acts, Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council(36) shall apply to the EIT.

2.  The EIT shall accede to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 25 May 1999 between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the Commission of the European Communities concerning internal investigations by the European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF)(37). The Governing Board shall formalise that accession and adopt the necessary measures to help OLAF carry out internal investigations.

3.  All decisions adopted and ▌partnership agreements or grant agreements concluded by the EIT shall provide explicitly that OLAF and the Court of Auditors may carry out on-the-spot inspections of the documents of contractors and sub-contractors which have received Union funds, including at the premises of the final beneficiaries.

Article 25

Winding up of the EIT

In the event of the EIT being wound up, this shall take place under the supervision of the Commission in accordance with the applicable laws. The ▌partnership agreements or grant agreements with the KICs shall lay down the appropriate provisions.

Article 26

Review

By 31 December 2026, the Commission shall, on the basis of the results of the evaluations referred to in Article 20(2) and (3), submit, where appropriate, any proposals for amendments to this Regulation which it considers to be necessary, in particular in relation to the EIT's mission and objectives set out in Article 3 and with a view to extending the EIT’s budget beyond the period specified in Articles 3 and 21 in accordance with the relevant Union framework programme for research and innovation.

Article 27

Repeal

Regulation (EC) No 294/2008 is repealed as from ... [the date of entry into force of this Regulation], with the exception of Articles 3 and 5, Article 6(1) and Articles 7, 14, 17 and 19 thereof, which shall be repealed with effect from 1 January 2021.

References to the repealed Regulation shall be construed as references to this Regulation and shall be read in accordance with the correlation table in Annex III.

Article 28

Entry into force and application

This Regulation shall enter into force on the ▌ day ▌of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Articles 3, 4 and 6, Article 7 (1) and (3), and Articles 8, 9, 18 and 21 shall apply from 1 January 2021.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at ..,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

ANNEX I

Statutes of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology

SECTION 1

COMPOSITION OF THE GOVERNING BOARD

1.  The Governing Board shall be composed of 15 members, appointed by the Commission, in a transparent manner, providing a balance between those with experience in the fields of higher education, research, innovation or business. That appointment shall be made following an open call for expressions of interest. The term of office of the members of the Governing Board shall be four years. The Commission may extend the term of office once by a two-year period on the proposal of the Governing Board.

In appointing the members of the Governing Board, the Commission shall make best efforts to ensure a balanced representation of those with experience in the fields of higher education (including vocational education and training), research, innovation and business, as well as ▌ gender and geographical balance and an appreciation of the higher education, research and innovation environment across the Union.

Where necessary, the Governing Board shall submit to the Commission a shortlist of candidates for the purposes of the appointment of a member or members. The shortlisted candidates shall be selected on the basis of the outcome of a transparent and open procedure initiated by the EIT.

The Commission shall appoint the member or members in accordance with the procedure laid down in the first, second and third paragraphs and inform the European Parliament and the Council of the selection procedure and of the final appointment of those members of the Governing Board.

In the event that a member is unable to complete his or her term of office, a substitute member shall be appointed by the procedure set out in the first, second and third paragraphs in order to complete the incapacitated member’s term of office. A substitute member who has served for a period of less than two years may be reappointed by the Commission for an additional term of four years at the request of the Governing Board.

The Commission shall appoint three additional members to the Governing Board to reach the number of 15 by ... [18 months after the date of entry into force of this Regulation]. The members of the Governing Board appointed before ... [date of the entry into force of this Regulation] shall complete their non-renewable term of office.

In exceptional and duly justified circumstances, in particular in order to maintain the integrity of the Governing Board, the Commission may, on its own initiative, terminate the term of office of a member of the Governing Board.

2.  The members of the Governing Board shall act in the interests of the EIT, safeguarding its mission and objectives, identity, autonomy and coherence, in an independent and transparent manner.

3.  The Governing Board may invite a Member of the EIC Board or other stakeholders to attend their meetings as observers.

4.  The Governing Board shall, when executing its responsibilities, act under the supervision of the Commission in implementing the EIT's mission and objectives set out in Article 3.

SECTION 2

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE GOVERNING BOARD

1.  The Governing Board, in exercising its responsibility for steering and monitoring the activities of the EIT and the KICs, shall take strategic decisions. In particular, it shall:

(a)  after consulting the existing KICs and taking their opinions into account, adopt the EIT’s contribution to the Commission’s proposal on the SIA and make it public;

(b)  adopt the EIT’s single programming document, budget, annual accounts and balance sheet and consolidated annual activity report;

(c)  adopt sound criteria and clear and transparent procedures for performance-based financing ▌of the KICs, including the decision on the maximum allocation of the EIT financial contribution to them, with a view to implementing the relevant KIC business plan and achieving the objectives set out in the SIA and in accordance with Article 10, taking into account the requirements set out in Article 11(4) and (5), including the KICs' progress in achieving financial sustainability;

(d)  adopt the selection procedure of the KICs, in accordance with Article 9 and the SIA;

(e)  select and designate a partnership as a KIC in accordance with the conditions and criteria set out in Article 9, and withdraw such a designation where appropriate;

(f)  authorise the Director to prepare, negotiate and conclude ▌partnership agreements and grant agreements ▌with the KICs;

(g)  establish the duration, content and structure of memoranda of cooperation in accordance with Article 12, mandate and authorise the Director to prepare and negotiate memoranda of cooperation with the KICs and, after having examined the negotiated memoranda of cooperation, authorise the Director to conclude them;

(h)  authorise the Director to extend ▌partnership agreements with the KICs beyond the period initially set, subject to the positive outcome of the interim review and comprehensive assessment, as set out in the SIA, before the expiry of that period in accordance with Articles 10 and 11;

(i)  authorise the Director to prepare, negotiate and conclude grant agreements with other legal entities;

(j)  adopt effective, efficient, transparent and continuous monitoring and evaluation procedures, including a sound set of indicators in accordance with Articles 10, 11, 19 and 20, and supervise their implementation by the Director;

(k)  take appropriate corrective measures with respect to underperforming KICs, including the reduction, modification or withdrawal of the EIT’s financial contribution to those KICs or the termination of the ▌partnership agreements with them, based on the monitoring and the assessment of results, in accordance with the objectives of the EIT and the KICs and with Articles 10, 11 and 18;

(l)  encourage the KICs to adopt operational models for openness towards new partner organisations;

(m)  promote the EIT across the Union and globally, so as to raise its attractiveness, and for that purpose authorise the Director to sign memoranda of understanding with Member States, associated countries or other third countries;

(n)  decide on the design and coordination of support actions undertaken by the KICs to broaden the impact of the EIT across the Union for the development of entrepreneurial and innovation capacity of HEIs, as well as vocational education and training providers where appropriate, and their integration in innovation ecosystems, in order to reinforce the integration of the knowledge triangle;

(o)  promote the creation of synergies between the EIT, including through the KICs, and the Union framework programmes for research and innovation, as well as national and regional funding schemes.

2.  In addition to the strategic decisions referred to in point 1, the Governing Board shall take the following procedural and operational decisions necessary for the fulfilment of its tasks and the activities of the EIT. It shall, in particular:

(a)  adopt its rules of procedure and those of the Executive Committee, as well as the specific financial rules of the EIT;

(b)  delegate specific tasks to the Executive Committee;

(c)  set appropriate fees for members of the Governing Board and of the Executive Committee, which shall be in line with similar remuneration in the Member States;

(d)  adopt an open and transparent procedure for selecting the members of the Executive Committee;

(e)  appoint the Director and, if necessary, extend his or her term of office or remove the Director from office, in accordance with Section 5;

(f)  appoint the Accounting Officer and the members of the Executive Committee;

(g)  adopt a code of good conduct regarding conflicts of interest;

(h)  establish, where appropriate, advisory groups with a defined objective, tasks and duration;

(i)  set up an Internal Auditing Function in accordance with the EIT’s financial rules;

(j)  decide on the working languages of the EIT, taking into account existing principles on multilingualism and the practical requirements of its operations;

(k)  convene an annual senior-level meeting with the KICs;

(l)  report on the KICs’ cooperation with other European Partnerships.

3.  The Governing Board shall take decisions in accordance with the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the Union, laid down in Council Regulation (EEC, Euratom, ECSC) No 259/68(38) (referred to as the ‘Staff Regulations’ and the ‘Conditions of Employment’, respectively), relating to the EIT staff and the conditions of its employment. In particular, it shall:

(a)  adopt the implementing measures in order to give effect to the Staff Regulations and the Conditions of Employment, in accordance with Article 110(2) of the Staff Regulations;

(b)  ▌in accordance with point (c) of this point, exercise, with respect to the staff of the EIT, the powers of the Appointing Authority conferred by the Staff Regulations and the Authority Empowered to Conclude a Contract of Employment conferred by the Conditions of Employment (the ‘appointing authority powers’);

(c)  ▌in accordance with Article 110(2) of the Staff Regulations, adopt a decision based on Article 2(1) of the Staff Regulations and Article 6 of the Conditions of Employment, delegating relevant appointing authority powers to the Director and establishing the conditions under which that delegation ▌can be suspended with the Director being authorised to sub-delegate those powers;

(d)  adopt a decision to temporarily suspend, where exceptional circumstances so require, the delegation of the appointing authority powers to the Director and those sub-delegated by the Director and exercise them itself or delegate them to one of its members or to a staff member other than the Director.

SECTION 3

FUNCTIONING OF THE GOVERNING BOARD

1.  The Governing Board shall elect its Chairperson from among its members. The term of office of the Chairperson shall be two years, renewable once.

2.  The representative of the Commission shall participate in the meetings of the Governing Board, without the right to vote, but his or her agreement shall be required in cases referred to in point 5. He or she shall have the right to suggest points on the agenda of the Governing Board.

3.  The Director shall participate in the meetings of the Governing Board, without the right to vote.

4.  The Governing Board shall adopt decisions by simple majority of members having a right to vote.

However, decisions under points (1)(a), (b), (c), (d), and (n) of Section 2 and points (2)(e) and (j) of Section 2, as well as decisions under point 1 of this Section shall require a majority of two thirds of the Governing Board’s members having the right to vote.

5.  Decisions of the Governing Board under points (1)(c), (e), (g), (h), (j) and (m), point (2)(c) and point (3)(a) of Section 2 shall require the agreement of the Commission, expressed by its representative in the Governing Board.

6.  The Governing Board shall seek the opinion of the MSRG before adopting decisions concerning the extension or termination of the partnership agreements with the KICs in accordance with points (1)(h) and (k) of Section 2, and on the conclusion of the memorandum of cooperation in accordance with point (1)(g) of Section 2.

The opinion referred to in the first paragraph shall not be binding on the Governing Board. It shall be issued without undue delay and in any event not later than two months after it has been requested.

7.  The Governing Board shall meet in ordinary session at least four times a year and in extraordinary session when convened by its Chairperson or at the request of at least one third of all its members or the representative of the Commission.

SECTION 4

THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

1.  The Executive Committee shall assist the Governing Board in the performance of its tasks.

2.  The Executive Committee shall consist of five members, including the Chairperson of the Governing Board, who shall also chair the Executive Committee. The four members other than the Chairperson shall be chosen by the Governing Board from among its members, providing a balance between those with experience in the fields of higher education, research, innovation or business. The term of office of the members of the Executive Committee shall be two years, renewable once.

3.  The Executive Committee shall prepare the meetings of the Governing Board in cooperation with the Director.

4.  The Governing Board may request the Executive Committee to supervise and monitor the implementation of decisions and recommendations of the Governing Board.

5.  The Executive Committee shall prepare the discussion of and adoption by the Governing Board on the draft EIT’s contribution to the Commission’s proposal on the SIA. In addition, the Executive Committee shall prepare the discussion of the Governing Board on the draft single programming document, the draft consolidated annual activity report, the draft annual budget and the draft annual accounts and the balance sheet before their submission to the Governing Board.

6.  Decisions of the Executive Committee shall be adopted on the basis of a majority of the members present. Each member shall have one vote.

7.   The representative of the Commission shall participate in the meetings of the Executive Committee, without the right to vote. The representative of the Commission shall have the right to suggest points on the agenda of the Executive Committee.

8.  The Director shall participate in the meetings of the Executive Committee, without the right to vote.

9.  The members of the Executive Committee shall act in the interests of the EIT, safeguarding its mission and objectives, identity, autonomy and coherence, in an independent and transparent manner. They shall regularly report to the Governing Board on the decisions adopted and tasks assigned to them by the Governing Board.

SECTION 5

THE DIRECTOR

1.  The Director shall be a person with expertise and a high reputation in the areas in which the EIT operates. The Director shall be a member of staff of the EIT and shall be engaged as a temporary agent under point (a) of Article 2 of the Conditions of Employment.

2.  The Director shall be appointed by the Governing Board from a list of candidates proposed by the Commission, following an open and transparent selection procedure. For the purpose of concluding the contract with the Director, the EIT shall be represented by the Chairperson of the Governing Board.

3.  The term of office of the Director shall be four years. The Governing Board, acting on a proposal from the Commission that takes into account its evaluation of the Director’s performance and the EIT’s best interests as well as its future tasks and challenges, may extend that term of office once for a period of up to four years. A Director whose term of office has been extended shall not participate in another selection procedure for the same post.

4.  The Director shall be removed from office only upon a decision of the Governing Board, acting on a proposal from the Commission.

5.  The Director shall be responsible for operations and for the day-to-day management of the EIT and shall be its legal representative. The Director shall be accountable to the Governing Board and report to it on an ongoing basis on the development of the EIT activities and activities falling under his or her responsibility.

6.  The Director shall in particular:

(a)  organise and manage the activities of the EIT;

(b)  support the Governing Board and the Executive Committee in their work, provide the secretariat for their meetings and supply information necessary for the performance of their duties;

(c)  support the Governing Board in preparing the EIT’s contribution to the Commission’s proposal on the SIA;

(d)  prepare the draft single programming document, the draft consolidated annual activity report and the draft annual budget for submission to the Governing Board;

(e)  prepare and administer the KICs selection procedure and ensure that the various stages of that procedure are carried out in a transparent and objective manner, under the supervision of the Governing Board, annexing a detailed report of the selection procedure to the consolidated annual activity report referred to in point (d);

(f)  prepare, negotiate and conclude, under the authorisation of the Governing Board, ▌partnership agreements and grant agreements ▌with the KICs;

(g)  prepare and negotiate memoranda of cooperation with the KICs and, subject to final approval by the Governing Board, conclude them in accordance with point (1)(a) of Section 2;

(h)  prepare, negotiate and conclude, with the agreement of the Governing Board, grant agreements with other legal entities;

(i)  organise the meetings of the stakeholder forum and of the MSRG and ensure effective communication with them, under the supervision of the Governing Board;

(j)  sign, with the authorisation of the Governing Board, memoranda of understanding with Member States, associated countries or other third countries with the aim of promoting the EIT globally;

(k)  ensure the implementation of effective monitoring, assessment and evaluation procedures relating to the performance of the KICs in accordance with point (1)(j) of Section 2, as well as implement the corrective measures decided by the Governing Board in accordance with Article 11(6);

(l)  be responsible for administrative and financial matters, in accordance with the principle of sound financial management, including the implementation of the EIT’s budget, taking due account of advice received from the Internal Auditing Function;

(m)  submit the draft annual accounts and balance sheet to the Internal Auditing Function, and subsequently to the Governing Board;

(n)  ensure that the obligations of the EIT with regard to the contracts and agreements it has concluded are met, under the supervision of the Governing Board;

(o)  ensure effective communication with the Union's institutions, under the supervision of the Governing Board;

(p)  inform the MSRG of the results of the monitoring, assessment and evaluation, and submit the opinions of the MSRG to the Governing Board;

(q)  act in the interests of the EIT, safeguarding its mission and objectives, identity, autonomy and coherence, in an independent and transparent manner.

7.  The Director shall perform any other tasks entrusted to him or her by the Governing Board and under its responsibility.

SECTION 6

STAFF OF THE EIT AND SECONDED NATIONAL EXPERTS

1.  The staff of the EIT shall consist of personnel employed directly by the EIT. The Staff Regulations, the Conditions of Employment and the rules adopted by agreement between the Union institutions for giving effect to them shall apply to the staff of the EIT. This point shall apply to staff employed by the EIT on ... [the date of entry into force of this Regulation], regardless of the starting date of their contract of employment.

2.  National experts may be seconded to the EIT for a limited period. The Governing Board shall adopt provisions enabling seconded national experts to work at the EIT and defining their rights and responsibilities.

ANNEX II

Repealed Regulation with the amendment thereto

Regulation (EC) No 294/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council

(OJ L 97, 9.4.2008, p. 1)

Regulation (EU) No 1292/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council

(OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 174)

_____________

ANNEX III

Correlation Table

Regulation (EC) No 294/2008

This Regulation

Article 1

Article 1

Article 2, point 1

Article 2, point 1

Article 2, point 2

Article 2, point 2

Article 2, point 3

Article 2, point 3

Article 2, point 5

Article 2, point 5

Article 2, point 6

Article 2, point 6

Article 2, point 7

Article 2, point 7

-

Article 2, point 8

Article 2, point 8

-

Article 2, point 9

Article 2, point 9

Article 2, point 9a

Article 2, point 10

Article 2, point 10

Article 2, point 11

-

Article 2, point 12

Article 2, point 11

-

Article 2, point 13

Article 2, point 14

-

Article 2, point 15

-

Article 2, point 16

Article 3

Article 3(1) and (2)

Article 4(1), points (a), (c) and (d)

Article 5(1)

Article 4(2)

-

Article 4(3)

-

Article 5(2)

Article 5(3)

Article 5(1), points (a) to (c)

Article 6, points (a), (b) and (c) and point (e)

Article 5(1), point (d)

-

-

Article 6, point (d)

Article 5(1), points (e) and (f)

-

Article 6, points (f) and (g)

Article 6, points (h) and (i)

Article 5(1), points (g) to (i)

Article 5(1), point (j)

-

Article 6, points (j), (k) and (l)

-

Article 6, points (m) and (n)

Article 5(1), point (k)

Article 6, points (o) and (p)

-

Article 6, points (q) to (t)

Article 5(2)

-

Article 6(1), points (a) to (c)

-

Article 6(1), point (d)

-

Article 6(1), point (e)

-

Article 7(1), points (a), (b) and (c)

Article 7(1), point (d)

Article 7(1), point (e)

Article 7(1), point (f)

Article 7(1), point (g)

Article 7(1), points (h) and (i)

Article 6(2), points (a) to (e)

-

Article 7(2), points (a) to (e)

Article 7(3)

Article 6(3)

Article 7(4)

-

Article 8

Article 7(1)

Article 9(1)

Article 7(1a)

Article 9(2)

Article 7(2)

-

Article 7(3)

Article 9(3)

Article 7(4)

Article 9(4)

Article 7(5)

Article 9(5)

Article 7a

Article 10

Article 7b(1)

-

Article 7b(2)

-

Article 11(1)

Article 11(2)

-

Article 7b(3)

-

Article 11(3)

Article 11(4)

Article 11(5)

Article 7b(4)

Article 11(6)

-

-

Article 11(7)

Article 12

Article 8(1)

Article 8(2), point (a)

Article 8(2), point (aa)

-

Article 8(2), point (b)

Article 13(1)

Article 13(2), point (a)

Article 13(2), point (b)

Article 13(2), points (c) to (f)

Article 13(2), point (g)

Article 9(1) and (2)

Article 9(3)

Article 14(1)

Article 14(2)

Article 11

Article 15

Article 12

Article 16

Article 13(1)

-

Article 13(2) to (7)

Article 17(1)

Article 17(2)

Article 17(3) to (8)

Article 14(1)

-

Article 14(2)

Article 18(1)

Article 14(3)

Article 18(2)

-

Article 18(3)

Article 14(4)

Article 18(4)

Article 14(5)

Article 18(5)

Article 14(6)

-

-

Article 18(6)

Article 14(7)

Article 18(7)

Article 15(1)

Article 19(1)

Article 15(2)

Article 19(2)

Article 16(1)

Article 20(1)

Article 16(2)

Article 20(2)

Article 16(2a)

Article 20(3)

Article 16(3)

Article 20(4)

Article 17(1)

-

-

Article 4(4)

Article 17(2)

Article 4(1)

Article 17(2a)

Article 4(2)

Article 17(3)

Article 4(3)

Article 17(4)

Article 4(5)

Article 18

-

Article 19(1)

-

-

Article 21(1)

Article 19(2)

-

Article 19(3)

Article 21(2)

Article 20(1)

Article 22(1)

Article 20(2)

-

Article 20(3)

Article 22(2)

Article 20(4)

-

Article 20(5)

Article 22(3)

Article 20(6)

-

Article 20(7)

-

Article 20(8)

Article 22(4)

Article 20(9)

Article 22(5)

Article 20(10)

Article 22(6)

Article 21(1)

Article 23(1)

Article 21(1a)

Article 23(2)

Article 21(2)

Article 23(3)

Article 21(3)

Article 23(4)

Article 21(4)

-

Article 22

Article 24

Article 22a

Article 25

Article 23

-

-

Article 26

-

Article 27

Article 24

Article 28

Annex

Annex I

-

Annex II

-

Annex III

(1) OJ C 47, 11.2.2020, p. 69.
(2) OJ C 77, 28.3.2002, p. 1.
(3)OJ C 47, 11.2.2020, p. 69.
(4)Position of the European Parliament of 27 April 2021.
(5)Regulation (EC) No 294/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2008 establishing the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (OJ L 97, 9.4.2008, p. 1).
(6)See Annex II.
(7) OJ L 282, 19.10.2016, p. 4.
(8) Regulation (EU) 2021/... of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... establishing Horizon Europe – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, laying down its rules for participation and dissemination, and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1290/2013 and (EU) No 1291/2013 (OJ ...).
(9)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)) and insert the number, date and OJ reference of that Regulation in the footnote.
(10)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(11) Regulation (EU) 2021/523 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 March 2021 establishing the InvestEU Programme and amending Regulation (EU) 2015/1017 (OJ L 107, 26.3.2021, p. 30).
(12)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(13)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(14)Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014, and Decision No 541/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 (OJ L 193, 30.7.2018, p. 1).
(15)Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications (OJ L 255, 30.9.2005, p. 22).
(16)Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/715 of 18 December 2018 on the framework financial regulation for the bodies set up under the TFEU and Euratom Treaty and referred to in Article 70 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 122, 10.5.2019, p. 1).
(17)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(18)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(19)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(20)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(21)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(22)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(23)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(24)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(25)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(26)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(27)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(28)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(29)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(30)Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and Decision No 1247/2002/EC (OJ L 295, 21.11.2018, p. 39).
(31)Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (OJ L 145, 31.5.2001, p. 43).
(32)Council Regulation No 1 of 15 April 1958 determining the languages to be used by the European Economic Community (OJ 17, 6.10.1958, p. 385).
(33)Council Regulation (EC) No 2965/1994 of 28 November 1994 setting up a Translation Centre for bodies of the European Union (OJ L 314, 7.12.1994, p. 1).
(34)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(35)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(36)Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 September 2013 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1074/1999 (OJ L 248, 18.9.2013, p. 1).
(37)OJ L 136, 31.5.1999, p. 15.
(38)OJ L 56, 4.3.1968, p. 1.


Strategic Innovation Agenda of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology ***I
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Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 27 April 2021 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Strategic Innovation Agenda of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) 2021-2027: Boosting the Innovation Talent and Capacity of Europe (COM(2019)0330 – C9-0043/2019 – 2019/0152(COD))
P9_TA(2021)0127A9-0121/2020

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2019)0330),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 173(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C9‑0043/2019),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs on the proposed legal basis,

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 30 October 2019(1),

–  having regard to the provisional agreement approved by the responsible committee under Rule 74(4) of its Rules of Procedure and the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 17 February 2021 to approve Parliament’s position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Rules 59 and 40 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Culture and Education,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A9-0121/2020),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Suggests that the act be cited as 'the Decision on the Strategic Innovation Agenda of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) 2021-2027: Boosting the Innovation Talent and Capacity of Europe';

3.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it replaces, substantially amends or intends to substantially amend its proposal;

4.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 27 April 2021 with a view to the adoption of Decision (EU) 2021/… of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Strategic Innovation Agenda of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) 2021-2027: Boosting the Innovation Talent and Capacity of Europe and repealing Decision No 1312/2013/EU

P9_TC1-COD(2019)0152


(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 173(3) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(2),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure(3),

Whereas:

(1)  Regulation (EU) 2021/... of the European Parliament and of the Council(4)(5), and in particular Article 4 thereof, provides for the adoption of a Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA).

(2)  The SIA should set out the priority fields and the ▌strategy for the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) for the seven-year period concerned in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/... of the European Parliament and of the Council(6)(7), should establish the EIT’s key actions and should include an assessment of the EIT’s expected social, economic and environmental impact, its outreach activities and its capacity to generate best innovation added-value. The SIA should take into account the results of the continuous monitoring and periodic independent evaluation of the EIT.

(3)  The SIA should also take into account the strategic planning of Horizon Europe – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon Europe), established by Regulation (EU) 2021/...(8), establish and foster appropriate synergies and complementarities between EIT activities and other relevant Union, national and regional initiatives, instruments and programmes, and ensure consistency with Union priorities and commitments, including those referred to in the communications of the Commission of 11 December 2019 on the European Green Deal, of 27 May 2020 on EU budget powering the recovery plan for Europe (Recovery Plan for Europe), of 19 February 2020 on a European strategy for data, of 10 March 2020 on an SME Strategy for a sustainable and digital Europe and of 10 March 2020 on a New Industrial Strategy for Europe and those related to achieving Europe's strategic autonomy, while retaining an open economy.

(4)  The SIA should include an estimate of financial needs and sources for the future activities of the EIT. It should also include an indicative financial plan covering the period of the relevant multiannual financial framework (MFF).

(5)  In order to ensure the continuity of the activities of the EIT and the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) in compliance with the relevant provisions of Regulation (EU) 2021/...(9), this Decision should enter into force as a matter of urgency and should apply, with retroactive effect, from 1 January 2021.

(6)  Since the objectives of this Decision cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States but can rather, by reason of scale and transnationality, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality as set out in that Article, this Decision does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.

(7)  Decision No 1312/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council(10) should be repealed,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

Article 1

The Strategic Innovation Agenda of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology for the period from 2021 to 2027 (SIA 2021-2027) as set out in the Annex is hereby adopted.

Article 2

SIA 2021-2027 shall be implemented in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/...(11).

Article 3

Decision No 1312/2013/EU is repealed with effect from 1 January 2021.

Article 4

This Decision shall enter into force on the day ▌of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

It shall apply from 1 January 2021.

Done at ...,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

ANNEX

The Strategic Innovation Agenda of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology for the period from 2021 to 2027

Table of contents

1.  Introduction 8

1.1.  Background 10

1.2.   Key challenges 16

1.3.   Positioning in Horizon Europe 20

2.  Raising the bar: EIT strategy and objectives for 2021-2027 25

3.  Boosting the Innovation Talent and Capacity of Europe: Key actions 29

3.1.  ▌Support for existing KICs 30

3.2.   Increasing the regional impact of KICs 33

3.3.   Launch of new KICs 38

3.4.  Supporting the innovation and entrepreneurial capacity of higher education institutions... 41

3.5.   EIT cross-cutting activities 47

3.5.1.   Communication and dissemination 47

3.5.2.   Identify and share good practices with stakeholders 50

3.5.3.   International cooperation and global outreach activities 52

3.6.   Making it work: mode of operation 53

3.6.1.   KIC operational model 54

3.6.2.   KIC funding model 58

3.6.3.  Reducing the administrative burden 62

3.6.4.   EIT relation with KICs after the termination of the ▌partnership agreement 63

3.7.  Synergies and complementarities with other Union programmes 66

4.  Tackling the crisis resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19 72

5.  Resources 74

5.1.  Budget needs 74

5.2.  Impact (monitoring and evaluation) 76

5.2.1.   Reporting and monitoring 77

5.2.2.  Evaluation, interim review and comprehensive assessment 84

Appendix 1 89

Appendix 2 101

1.  Introduction

This Strategic Innovation Agenda sets out the priority fields and strategy of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) for 2021-2027 (SIA 2021-2027). It ▌establishes the EIT’s objectives, key actions, mode of operation, expected results and impact, as well as an estimate of the resources needed. SIA 2021-2027 ensures the necessary consistency of the EIT with Horizon Europe.

SIA 2021-2027 is informed by an impact assessment carried out by the Commission. It takes into account the draft SIA prepared by the EIT and submitted to the Commission on 20 December 2017, in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 294/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council(12). It also reflects Regulation (EU) 2021/...(13), and, in particular, the key role of the EIT as part of Pillar III 'Innovative Europe' of Horizon Europe, and its contribution to addressing global and societal challenges, including established targets and commitments to climate objectives and the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to Pillar I 'Excellent Science' and Pillar II 'Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness' of Horizon Europe. SIA 2021-2027 builds on the lessons learnt over the previous years of operation of the EIT and the results of a wide consultation process with key stakeholders.

SIA 2021-2027 takes into account the strategic planning of Horizon Europe to ensure consistency with the Horizon Europe activities, as well as synergies with other relevant Union programmes and consistency with Union priorities and commitments, including those related to the European Green Deal, the Recovery Plan for Europe, the European strategy for data, the SME Strategy for a sustainable and digital Europe and the New Industrial Strategy for Europe and those related to achieving the Union's strategic autonomy, while retaining an open economy. Furthermore, it contributes to tackling global and societal challenges, including the SDGs by following the principles of the Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(14), and to achieving a net-zero greenhouse gas economy by 2050 at the latest. It also aims to increase complementarity and synergies between the EIT activities and national and regional funding programmes and priorities.

1.1.  Background

The EIT was established in 2008 in order to contribute to sustainable economic growth and competitiveness by reinforcing the innovation capacity of the Union and Member States. It pioneered the integration of higher education, research and innovation (the ‘knowledge triangle’) together with a strong emphasis on entrepreneurial talent, business creation and innovation skills. ▌

Since its establishment, the EIT has gradually established itself as a unique instrument addressing societal challenges through the integration of the knowledge triangle. The EIT operates mainly through Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs)(15)(16). There are currently eight KICs that operate in the areas of climate change, digital transformation, energy, food, health, raw materials, urban mobility and added-value manufacturing ▌.

Each KIC has to date been organised around five to ten co-location centres (CLCs ▌)(17)(18), which are intended to act as geographical hubs that also provide a physical space for local interaction within the innovation ecosystem and for the practical integration of the knowledge triangle. CLCs are organised and structured according to their relevant national and regional innovation context and build on a pan-European network of existing labs, offices or campuses of a KIC partner.

The KICs aim to run portfolios of knowledge triangle activities through:

(a)   education and training activities with strong entrepreneurship components to train the next generation of talents, including the design and implementation of programmes ▌, in particular at master's and doctoral level, awarded the EIT label, namely a quality seal awarded by the EIT to a KIC’s educational programme which complies with specific quality criteria related, inter alia, to entrepreneurial education and innovative ‘learning-by-doing’ curricula, the EIT´s education agenda being key to developing highly entrepreneurial and skilled innovators, hence the importance of programmes and activities aiming to develop entrepreneurship and digital skills and re-skill and up-skill human resources in a lifelong learning perspective;

(b)   activities that support research and innovation to develop innovative and sustainable products, processes, technologies, services and non-technological solutions that address a specific business opportunity or social objective;

(c)   business creation and support activities, such as accelerator schemes to help entrepreneurs translate their ideas into successful ventures and speed up the growth and development process.

The focus on global and societal challenges through the integration of the knowledge triangle, integrating higher education activities in the innovation value chain, is a distinctive feature of the EIT compared to other innovation instruments. ▌

The EIT approach helps to build resilience and increase sustainability and contributes to the creation of incremental and disruptive innovations, in order to effectively address market failures and help transform industries and support the creation of start-ups, spin-offs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The EIT enables the creation of long-term business strategies for addressing global challenges and helps create the framework conditions that are essential for a well-functioning innovation ecosystem to grow and for innovation to thrive. Regulation (EU) 2021/...(19) provides for the objective that the KICs become financially sustainable(20)(21), which is a unique feature, aiming to create a business and results-oriented innovation. In that context, the KICs are to develop and implement revenue-creating strategies in order to maintain their innovation ecosystem and knowledge triangle activities beyond the period covered by the grant agreements.

The EIT thus offers a dynamic platform for launching, scaling up, monitoring and supporting KICs with strong network effects and positive spill-overs ▌. The KICs in the first wave (EIT Digital, EIT Climate-KIC and EIT InnoEnergy), launched in 2009, are established and mature and their ▌partnership agreements are to be terminated after 2024, in line with the maximum grant duration. A second and third generation of KICs (EIT Health and EIT Raw Materials, launched in 2014, and EIT Food, launched in 2016) are maturing. The KICs EIT Urban Mobility and EIT Manufacturing were both launched in December 2018 and started their operations in 2019.

▌By 2019, there were more than 600 businesses, 250 higher education institutions (HEIs)(22)(23), 200 research organisations(24)+, and more than 50 civil society organisations and authorities participating in the eight KICs.

Against the backdrop of persisting regional disparities in innovation performance in Europe, the EIT launched a regional innovation scheme (RIS)(25)+ in 2014 to widen its regional outreach to modest and moderate innovator countries. Through the RIS, the EIT has expanded its activities across Europe and offers ▌opportunities for countries (and regions in those countries) with modest and moderate innovation performance as classified in the European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) to engage in knowledge triangle activities as part of ▌a KIC community. ▌

The EIT has been able to stay agile and to develop the governance principles and rules for the successful management of the KICs under the overall umbrella of Horizon 2020 established by Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council(26), in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 294/2008. Its operational independence has allowed it to test and effectively implement a number of novelties in the management of its beneficiaries, such as a competitive funding mechanism, financial sustainability targets and specific key performance indicators.

1.2.   Key challenges

In recent years, the pace of innovation has accelerated dramatically. Innovation is reshaping economic sectors, disrupting existing businesses and creating unprecedented opportunities. With a shifting global economic order and international competition on the rise, the Union needs, inter alia, to involve all talents, increase the participation of women and foster a swift transfer of the results of research and innovation activities to the market and society, with the aim of increasing innovation capacity across the Union. Co-design, collaboration and co-creation across disciplines and between higher education, research and business have never been so important in contributing to address global challenges related to climate change, biodiversity loss and unsustainable use of natural resources, digital and social transformation, demographic shifts and the future of healthcare and food.

First, the spread of COVID-19 has had a major impact on our economies and societies, disrupting economic activities, affecting healthcare systems, jobs and well-being. In order to address the crisis, a combination of short-term and forward-looking measures are required in order to provide immediate support to the economies and stakeholders, while ensuring the necessary conditions for the recovery to take place.

It is therefore important to identify and tackle crisis-related challenges, including access to finance, in order to rebuild trust and confidence among all stakeholders as well as support the development and implementation of solutions to ease the impact of crises on society. At the same time, programmes supporting innovation, business creation and upgrade, entrepreneurial and innovation skills are key to putting the Union economy on the right track and propelling a swift recovery.

Stronger innovation ecosystems have proved to respond more quickly and resolutely to crises. In order to accelerate the recovery and be able to tackle future emergencies, investments in improving coordination capacities within innovation ecosystems are essential to increase their resilience and their responsiveness to deliver promptly the needed solutions.

In the medium and long term, all the KICs need to adapt to the impacts of the shock and ensure agility and flexibility in order to find and pursue new opportunities. Thanks to their ‘place-based’ approach through CLCs and RIS hubs(27)(28) across Europe, the KICs contribute to strengthening local innovation ecosystems, inter alia, by fostering closer interactions between the actors of the knowledge triangle and by favouring better coordinated relations with financial and public institutions, as well as with citizens.

Second, today’s societies and economies are increasingly driven by the skills and abilities of people and organisations to turn ideas into novel products, processes, services, businesses and societal models. Innovation, entrepreneurial culture, market uptake of innovative solutions and increased investments in education, research and innovation will make all the difference if the Union is to succeed in its transition towards a competitive, digital, climate-neutral and inclusive society. There is a strong need to further boost collaboration between disciplines and interdisciplinary learning, as well as the innovation capacity of HEIs across the Union. The EIT is in a unique position to fulfil that need in the Horizon Europe framework.

Third, physical proximity is one of the key factors enabling innovation. Initiatives aiming to develop innovation networks and providing services that support the creation, sharing and transfer of knowledge play a key role in fostering interactions between academia, research organisations, business, public authorities and individuals. Still, research and innovation performances across the Union, as reflected in the annual EIS, vary considerably. It is of crucial importance that innovation is inclusive and rooted in local territories with a particular attention to the increased involvement of SMEs and third sector organisations. EIT activities ▌are well suited to contribute to strengthening local innovation ecosystems with a strong European dimension and provide new models for a sustainable economy. The activities of the EIT and the KICs have yet to become increasingly linked to regional strategies and smart specialisation strategies(29)(30).

Fourth, vibrant innovation ecosystems require a mix of knowledge, investment, infrastructure and talent. Framework conditions for cooperation between European research, education and innovation along with strong synergies need to be in place in order to ensure proper and efficient investment of scarce resources and to leverage other sources of funding aiming to achieve financial sustainability. Strengthening the knowledge triangle integration through ▌KICs, including through the involvement of new partners in other sectors, countries and regions, is a proven way to foster an environment conducive to innovation and is a guiding objective of the EIT.

1.3.   Positioning in Horizon Europe

In the context of Regulation (EU) 2021/...(31), the Commission made a firm commitment to raise Europe's innovation potential further in order to be able to respond to future challenges. The EIT’s distinctive role in fostering innovation by bringing together business, education, research, public authorities and civil society is reinforced by its positioning in Pillar III 'Innovative Europe' of Horizon Europe. Regulation (EU) 2021/...+ reflects the growing Union ambition of innovation and the need to deliver on that ambition.

The strategic planning of Horizon Europe aims to ensure coherence between the EIT activities and other activities under Regulation (EU) 2021/...+. The EIT shall contribute to the strategic coordinating process for European Partnerships ▌. The EIT shall continue to work closely with other implementing bodies under the Pillar III 'Innovative Europe' of Horizon Europe and use best efforts to contribute to a one-stop shop for innovation.

▌The EIT shall continue to strengthen innovation ecosystems that help to tackle global challenges by fostering the integration of the knowledge triangle in the thematic areas of activity of the KICs. ▌

Strong synergies, including through cooperation at governance level, between the implementing bodies of the ▌Pillar III 'Innovative Europe' of Horizon Europe are required. The EIT and the European Innovation Council (EIC) shall run complementary activities aiming to streamline the support provided to innovative businesses, including business acceleration services and training ▌.

▌The EIC may help start-ups supported by KICs with a high growth potential to rapidly scale-up. In particular, the most innovative ventures supported by the KICs may benefit from simplified and thereby faster access to EIC actions, in particular to the ▌support offered by the EIC Accelerator and by the financial support offered by the InvestEU Programme established by Regulation (EU) 2021/523 of the European Parliament and of the Council(32). Furthermore, the EIT shall facilitate the access of EIC beneficiaries to the KICs’ innovation ecosystems and relevant actors of the knowledge triangle. EIC beneficiaries can thus become actively involved in the KICs’ activities and benefit from the KICs’ services.

The EIT shall ensure consistency with the European innovation ecosystems component of Pillar III ‘Innovative Europe’ of Horizon Europe. In particular, the EIT shall take an active part in the activities of the EIC Forum referred to in Council Decision (EU) 2021/…(33)(34) and shall establish links between the EIT Community(35)(36) and relevant activities supporting innovation ecosystems in order to avoid duplication and to ensure the consistency and complementarity between actions of the EIT and of the EIC.

The EIT shall also ensure stronger synergies ▌between its actions and the programmes and initiatives of the Pillar I ▌'Excellent Science' of Horizon Europe ▌, to accelerate the transfer of knowledge resulting from blue sky research into concrete applications benefiting society. In particular, with regard to the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) and the European Research Council (ERC), the EIT shall collaborate on the development of innovation and entrepreneurial skills of MSCA fellows and ERC grantees at all stages of their career. That collaboration shall remain voluntary and shall not increase the administrative burden on the beneficiaries.

The EIT shall contribute to the Pillar II 'Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness' of Horizon Europe, complement relevant activities to tackle global and societal challenges, and foster the sustainable growth and competitiveness of the Union on a global scale. In particular, through the KICs, the EIT shall seek to contribute to and ensure stronger synergies with relevant missions and thematic clusters and other European Partnerships, such as by ▌supporting demand-side measures and providing exploitation services to boost technology transfer and accelerate the commercialisation of results achieved.

The EIT shall explore opportunities for synergies between the 'Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area' part of Horizon Europe, including the teaming and twinning activities and the outreach activities that it supports. In particular, target entities of the 'Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area' part of Horizon Europe, as well as EIT outreach activities, may leverage EIT expertise and support.

2.  Raising the bar: EIT Strategy and objectives for 2021-2027

During the period 2021-2027, the EIT shall continue to support the KICs in order to strengthen the innovation ecosystems that help to tackle global and societal challenges, in full complementarity with Horizon Europe and other Union programmes. It shall do so by fostering the integration of higher education, research and innovation, thereby creating environments conducive to innovation, and by promoting and supporting a new generation of entrepreneurs, contributing also to closing the entrepreneurial gender gap and to stimulating the creation of innovative businesses, with a particular focus on SMEs, in close synergy and complementarity with the EIC.

Particular attention shall also be paid to gender balance and gender-sensitive approaches, in particular in areas where women remain underrepresented, such as information and communications technologies, science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In doing so, on the basis of the areas of intervention established in Regulation (EU) 2021/...(37), the EIT shall, in particular:

(1)  strengthen sustainable innovation ecosystems across Europe;

(2)  foster innovation and entrepreneurial skills in a lifelong learning perspective, including increasing capacities of HEIs across Europe;

(3)  create new solutions to the market to address global challenges; and

(4)  ensure synergies and value added within Horizon Europe.

In line with the challenges that the EIT is facing and in order to contribute to its general objectives as set out in Article 3 of Regulation (EU) 2021/...(38) and thereby to the scientific, economic, technological and societal impact of Horizon Europe, the EIT's specific objectives for 2021-2027 shall be to:

(a)  increase the openness, impact and transparency of the KICs and the integration of the knowledge triangle across the Union;

(b)  increase the entrepreneurial and innovation capacity of higher education across Europe by promoting and supporting institutional change in HEIs and the integration of HEIs in innovation ecosystems;

(c)  increase the regional and local outreach of the EIT and the KICs, in particular by including a wider range of stakeholders in order to address disparities in innovation capacity and to enhance knowledge and innovation diffusion across the Union.

The EIT may, where relevant, respond to the COVID-19 crisis and potential future crises with the necessary flexibility by integrating relevant initiatives in its strategy in order to contribute to protecting the innovation ecosystems and to help EIT stakeholders prepare for the economic recovery.

3.  Boosting the innovation talent and capacity of Europe: KEY ACTIONS

▌The EIT strategy for 2021-2027 shall focus on actions adding value at Union level and contributing to achieving the objectives of Horizon Europe ▌. First, the EIT shall continue to support the innovation capacity and ecosystems across the Union through the KICs, their further development, openness to new partners, enhanced transparency, compliance with good governance principles and expansion ▌. Second, building on its experience with the knowledge triangle integration, the EIT shall steer the support and development of entrepreneurial and innovation capacity of HEIs, which will be implemented through the KICs. Third, through more effective cross-cutting measures, the EIT shall make all necessary efforts to ensure that its visibility and impact at Union level increase. In addition, the EIT shall improve its operations ▌in order to increase its effectiveness, efficiency and impact, including in areas such as guiding the KICs towards financial sustainability, the openness, outreach, transparency, quality and sustainability of its own activities and the activities of the KICs, a higher involvement of SMEs and start-ups, and gender balance.

3.1.  Support for existing KICs

The EIT shall strengthen innovation ecosystems by continuing to support existing KICs in addressing global challenges through the integration of the knowledge triangle ▌ at Union, national, regional and local level ▌. To that end, a large share of the EIT budget is to be dedicated to support ▌the KICs, and the EIT shall further strengthen its ▌ platform for launching, growing and monitoring the KICs.

The EIT shall ensure that the KICs ▌continue to pursue financial sustainability, in order to achieve financial independence from the EIT grant ▌at the latest ▌after 15 years following their launch ▌by leveraging public and private investment, while still focusing on the integration of knowledge triangle activities.

The EIT shall ensure that the KICs develop and implement a strategy to collaborate and create interfaces and synergies with relevant European Partnerships, missions and the EIC, as well as with other relevant Union and international initiatives and programmes. In addition to financial support, based on lessons learned, the EIT shall provide strategic supervision and guidance to the KICs ▌. On the basis of the indicators listed, inter alia, in Annex V to Regulation (EU) 2021/...(39), the EIT shall monitor and analyse the performance, the leverage investments and the different qualitative and quantitative impacts.

The EIT shall make best efforts to streamline the terminology related to the structure of each KIC, with the purpose of further simplifying and enhancing the recognisability of the EIT.

The EIT shall establish areas of, and promote stronger cross-KIC collaboration on, topics of strategic and policy relevance. The EIT shall strengthen coordination between KICs in areas of common interest, in particular by fostering exchanges of experiences and good practices between KICs and ▌collaboration between them (cross-KIC activities(40)(41)) on both thematic and horizontal topics. Cross-KIC activities have the highest potential where several KICs already address common Union policy priorities where no dedicated KICs exist. Bringing together the different KICs communities in dedicated joint actions of mutual benefit has high potential for synergies and interdisciplinary benefits. The EIT shall encourage such activities and take an active part in defining the content and structure of the cross-KIC activities. It shall monitor the implementation of cross-KIC activities as well as the results achieved, with the aim of making those activities an integral part of the KICs’ multiannual strategies. The EIT shall also facilitate the establishment of cross-KIC shared services with the purpose of jointly handling operational tasks common for all the KICs.

3.2.   Increasing the regional impact of KICs

The EIT shall further increase its regional impact through an enhanced openness and inclusive approach of the KICs towards a wide range of potential partners and stakeholders, a strengthened dissemination and exploitation of results and a better integrated regional strategy of KICs. Each KIC will be required to develop and implement a regional strategy as an integral part of its business plans with the aim of strengthening the relationship with national, regional and local innovation actors, including SMEs. Where relevant, the KICs shall demonstrate links with smart specialisation strategies and with the activities of thematic platforms and interregional initiatives, including with the managing authorities of European structural and investment funds (ESIF). The EIT shall continuously monitor the implementation of those strategies, including the leverage effect on the ESIF.

A so-called ‘place-based’ innovation approach is to be integrated within the KICs’ multiannual strategy and business plan and build on its CLCs and RIS hubs, thus leveraging their role as a gateway for accessing a KIC community, and interacting with the co-located partners, as well as with other local innovation actors.

The EIT shall monitor how CLCs and RIS hubs operate and how they integrate in the local innovation ecosystems.

The EIT shall ensure that RIS activities are used to attract and facilitate integration of potential new partners that add value to the KICs, thus extending the EIT’s pan-European coverage, and are fully integrated in KICs’ multiannual strategies. The RIS, steered by the EIT and implemented by KICs, has been run on a voluntary basis to date. From 2021, the RIS activities shall become mandatory and an integral part of the KICs’ multiannual strategies. The EIT shall ensure that RIS activities are used as a bridge towards relevant research and innovation smart specialisation strategies.

In addition, KICs shall enhance such integration through the establishment of RIS hubs. A RIS hub shall be established following a thorough needs analysis and an open call. It shall be part of the structure of the KICs and serve as focal point for their activities. Its objective is to mobilise and involve local knowledge triangle actors in the KICs' activities, establishing synergies at local level, identifying funding and collaboration opportunities and promoting their active integration in ecosystems. In accordance with the KIC expansion strategy, RIS hubs could pave the way to the establishment of a CLC in the targeted region.

The EIT shall continue to provide guidance and support to KICs in the preparation and implementation of multiannual RIS strategies ▌. RIS activities shall continue to support ▌ the innovation capacity of countries (and regions in those countries) that have modest and moderate innovation performances according to the EIS, as well as of the outermost regions within the meaning of Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in order to foster their integration in the KICs' communities. The following are countries and regions eligible for RIS activities (RIS countries and regions):

(1)  the countries (and the regions in those countries) that are classified as either ‘moderate’ or ‘modest’ innovators in at least one of the three EIS annual reports issued in:

(a)  2018, 2019 and 2020 for 2021-2024; and

(b)  in 2021, 2022 and 2023 for 2025-2027; and

(2)  the outermost regions.

The EIT budget devoted to implementing RIS activities shall be at least 10 % and a maximum of 15 % of the overall EIT ▌funding for existing and new KICs, thereby allowing an increase in the number of KIC partners from targeted regions. Activities supported through the RIS shall aim to:

(1)  contribute to improving the innovation capacities of regional and local ecosystems across the Union, via capacity building activities and closer interactions between the local innovation actors, such as clusters, networks, public authorities, HEIs, research organisations, vocational education and training providers and SMEs, as well as the activities of those actors;

(2)  support the objective of attracting new partners in the KICs and link local innovation ecosystems to pan-European innovation ecosystems; and

(3)  leverage additional private and public funding, with particular attention to ESIF.

3.3.   Launch of new KICs

In order to contribute to addressing new and emerging global challenges, the EIT shall launch open and transparent calls for proposals to create new KICs in priority fields selected among thematic areas of strategic importance and based on criteria assessing, inter alia, their relevance to the Union policy priorities with regard to addressing global and societal challenges, and their potential and added value to be addressed through the EIT model. The launch of new KICs shall take into account the strategic planning of Horizon Europe and the budget allocated to the EIT for the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2027. The relevant selection criteria for European Partnerships set out in Annex III of Regulation (EU) 2021/...(42) shall be included in the KIC call for proposals and shall be assessed during the evaluation.

Based on a proposal from the Governing Board and an analysis thereof, a first new KIC, in the field of Cultural and Creative Sectors and Industries (CCSI), is proposed to be launched as soon as possible in 2022 or 2023, with a call for proposals to be published if feasible in 2021. This priority field has the strongest complementarity with the eight existing KICs, as well as with the potential priority areas for other European Partnerships to be launched in the framework of Horizon Europe. ▌A factsheet summarising the challenges in the CCSI field and the expected impact of the new KIC is included in Appendix 1.

A second new KIC, in the field of Water, Marine and Maritime Sectors and Ecosystems (WMM), is proposed to be launched in 2026, with a call for proposals to be published in 2025. The Commission, with the assistance of independent external experts, shall carry out an ex-ante analysis by 2024 to evaluate the relevance of the WMM field. If the analysis results in a negative conclusion, the Commission may submit a proposal to amend SIA 2021-2027, taking into account the contribution of the Governing Board and the strategic planning of Horizon Europe. A factsheet summarising the challenges in the WMM field and the expected impact of the new KIC is included in Appendix 2.

Other new KICs may be ▌selected if budget allocations additional to those of the EIT become available and shall take into account the contribution of the Governing Board, the strategic planning of Horizon Europe ▌and the criteria set for the selection of European Partnerships, in particular openness, transparency, Union added value, contribution to the SDGs, coherence and synergies. ▌

3.4.   Supporting the innovation and entrepreneurial capacity of higher education institutions

In cooperation with the Commission, and after consulting the KICs, the EIT shall design and launch a pilot initiative supporting the innovation and entrepreneurial capacities of higher education institutions and their integration in innovation ecosystems (pilot higher education initiative), which will be implemented through the KICs, starting in 2021. Through the knowledge triangle integration model, the EIT is bridging the persistent gap between higher education, research and innovation. In particular, the EIT and the KICs are key tools for the development of human capital through their distinctive focus on innovation and entrepreneurial education. However, the impact of the EIT shall be further extended beyond the KICs’ partners.

▌HEIs across Europe need to be innovative and entrepreneurial in their approach to education, research, and engagement with businesses and the broader regional and local innovation ecosystem, including civil society, public institutions and third sector organisations, in the most inclusive and gender balanced way, which is possible to be achieved through a clear strategy, a methodological framework and commitment of resources.

The KICs’ activities relating to the pilot higher education initiative shall be implemented ▌through ▌open and transparent calls for proposals, which will aim to increase the innovation capacity in higher education, targeting mainly HEIs that are not KIC partners in innovation value chains and ecosystems across the Union. The activities shall address primarily the capacity development of HEIs, including:

(1)  the exchange and implementation of best practices in knowledge triangle integration, including organisational learning, training for up-skilling and re-skilling, coaching and mentoring;

(2)  the development of action plans on how to address identified needs in areas such as innovation management, start-up creation and development, technology transfer including intellectual property rights management, sustainability and climate neutrality by design, people and organisational management, the integration of gender approaches in innovation and engagement with local stakeholders and civil society; and

(3)  the implementation of innovation capacity development action plans and follow-up actions.

Those activities shall involve other actors in the knowledge triangle, such as vocational education and training providers, research and technology organisations, SMEs and start-ups, and shall complement the intervention of the EIT on education as a core part of the knowledge triangle integration activities of the KICs ▌. The EIT shall promote stronger cross-KIC collaboration within the pilot higher education initiative. The eligibility criteria to be included in the calls for proposals shall ensure that the majority of funding will go to HEIs from outside of the KICs. The aim of the pilot higher education initiative is that the impact of the EIT reach beyond the KICs and contribute to the EIT's core mission of boosting sustainable economic growth and competitiveness by reinforcing the innovation capacity of Member States, in line with the Horizon Europe goals of fostering entrepreneurial and innovation skills in a lifelong learning perspective, including increasing the capacities of HEIs across Europe.

The EIT support shall also build on policy initiatives such as the HEInnovate(43) and RIIA(44) frameworks that have proven their value in a number of HEIs and Member States across the Union. The EIT shall design the support activities in close collaboration with the Commission, and after consulting the KICs, ensuring full coherence and complementarity with relevant activities within Horizon Europe, Erasmus+, established by Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) 2021/...(45)(46), and other Union programmes. The specific details of the implementation and delivery mechanism process shall be further developed and fine-tuned in the first three years and shall be subject to monitoring and evaluation during this pilot phase ▌. The evaluation of the pilot phase shall be conducted by independent external experts and the results shall be communicated to the Member State Representatives Group (MSRG) and to the European Parliament. Based on the results of that evaluation, the Governing Board shall decide whether the pilot higher education initiative is to be either continued and scaled-up or discontinued.

The Governing Board shall steer and supervise the implementation and monitoring of the activities of the KICs. Particular attention shall be paid to ensuring an open and inclusive approach to attract HEIs beyond the KICs’ partners aiming for wide geographical coverage; an inter-disciplinary and inter-sectoral approach; a broader participation of women in sectors where they are underrepresented; and a link with the RIS, relevant thematic platforms and smart specialisation strategies, and the Policy Support Facility when appropriate.

The EIT shall strengthen and widen the scope of the EIT label beyond the KICs to include the HEIs participating in the action. With the involvement of actors from across the knowledge triangle, the EIT shall strive to link its support for developing innovation capacity in higher education to the EIT label, which is currently awarded to the KICs’ education programmes. ▌

The EIT shall extend the EIT label to lifelong learning activities, such as mentoring, vocational training, skilling, re-skilling and up-skilling programmes, massive open online courses, involving and reaching out to a wider target group of students, adult learners and institutions, including vocational education and training institutions, beyond the KICs. The application of the EIT label beyond the EIT Community is expected to have a more structuring effect at all levels (individual, programme and institution).

The EIT shall monitor the award and expansion of the EIT label to KICs’ education and training programmes and explore a more effective quality assurance mechanism, including external recognition and accreditation of the EIT label.

To ensure the success of the pilot higher education initiative, the EIT shall provide specific guidance, expertise and coaching to participating HEIs and target HEIs from across Europe, paying particular attention to HEIs from countries (and regions in those countries) that are moderate and modest innovators and other low performing regions that wish to develop their innovation capacities and strengthen their innovation footprint and smart specialisation strategies. ▌

3.5.  EIT cross-cutting activities

3.5.1.   Communication and dissemination

The EIT and the KICs shall strive to improve and reinforce their communication and visibility, and apply an improved branding strategy with regard to their main stakeholders in Member States and beyond, in line with the communication approach used with regard to Horizon Europe. With a growing number of KICs and the pilot higher education initiative, the EIT shall boost its efforts to increase the recognition of Union support as a quality brand for innovation. This brand management and improved communication is crucial, in particular with regard to citizens and national and regional authorities, as the innovations coming out of the EIT contribute to demonstrating the concrete impact of Union investments through Horizon Europe. ▌

The EIT shall strive to increase the use of existing Union information networks and provide coordination to their activities in order to ensure better advice and guidance to potential KIC partners. Such increased use and coordination may include the support of the national and regional authorities in identifying the necessary synergies with the multiannual strategies of the KICs. In order to ensure wider dissemination and better understanding of the opportunities offered by the EIT, the EIT shall ▌ reinforce guidance and assistance on aspects related to participation in KICs across Europe by building on existing networks of information and structures across Europe, in particular the National Contact Points referred to in Regulation (EU) 2021/...(47).

In order to ensure that a large stakeholder community across the knowledge triangle at Union, national, regional and local level is aware of all EIT (and KIC) calls and funded projects, they will appear also in the European Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal, under Regulation (EU) 2021/...+.

The EIT shall organise regular meetings of the MSRG and of Commission related services, at least twice a year, to ensure appropriate communication and flow of information with Member States and at Union level. The European Parliament and the Council shall be kept duly informed of the performance, achievements and activities of the EIT and the KICs. In addition, the MSRG shall advise the EIT on strategically important issues. The MSRG, together with the EIT, shall ensure appropriate support to liaise and promote synergies about EIT-supported activities with national or regional programmes and initiatives, and share information about the potential national and regional co-financing of those activities.

The EIT shall further increase the visibility of its action towards citizens and the EIT Community through the ▌Stakeholder Forum(48)(49), the EIT Awards and the EIT Alumni Community(50) with the aim of promoting the interactions with European actors of the knowledge triangle and recognise the most promising innovators and entrepreneurs in Europe.

The EIT shall continue to steer and provide strategic guidance to the EIT Alumni Community (in collaboration with the EIT Alumni Board) to maximise its entrepreneurial and societal impact and the continuous involvement of its members in EIT-supported activities. In the course of 2021-2027 the EIT Alumni Community will continue to grow and will also include the alumni taking part in the actions supporting the innovation capacities of HEIs.

3.5.2.  Identify and share good practices with stakeholders

The EIT shall identify, codify, effectively share, and disseminate learning and good practices emerging from EIT-funded activities and, for that purpose, engage with Member State authorities at both national and regional level, with the Commission and the European Parliament, in particular with its Science and Technology Panel, establishing a structured dialogue and coordinating efforts. The KICs and the projects supporting innovation and entrepreneurial capacity of HEI are expected to be a valuable source of evidence and experimental learning for policy-makers ▌in the field of research, innovation and higher education, as well as in different thematic domains.

To date, the good practices and learning stemming from the KICs have not been pooled or codified sufficiently or disseminated effectively. ▌The EIT shall further develop its role as an innovation institute with the ability to detect, analyse, codify, share and ensure the take-up of innovative practices, learning and results from the EIT-funded activities (support for education and training, research and innovation and entrepreneurship) on a broader scale. That EIT activity shall build on the links and synergies with the other initiatives within ▌Horizon Europe, in particular the EIC, the missions and the European Partnerships.

3.5.3.   International cooperation and global outreach activities

The EIT shall develop broad lines of international cooperation of the EIT and the KICs under the supervision of the Governing Board, in compliance with the Horizon Europe approach to international cooperation as referred to in Regulation (EU) 2021/...(51)and other relevant Union policies, and in consultation with the respective Commission services. The EIT shall seek to ensure that its activities have a greater impact through international cooperation and shall coordinate international EIT-funded activities by the KICs. Its focus shall be to align closely with relevant ▌policy objectives of the Union as well as its research and innovation priorities, and to ensure Union added value. When a physical presence of the EIT Community in a third country is deemed to be necessary to increase the impact and deliver more efficiently on its objectives, the EIT shall ensure coordination of the intervention, and provide incentives for joint KIC efforts.

In its international cooperation and global outreach activities, the EIT, in cooperation with the Commission, shall focus on effective tackling of global ▌challenges, contributing to relevant international initiatives and the SDGs, ensuring access to talent and enhanced supply and demand of innovative solutions. The EIT shall closely monitor those activities and ensure that they comply with the Horizon Europe approach to international cooperation as referred to in Regulation (EU) 2021/...(52)and other relevant Union policies.

3.6.  Making it work: mode of operation

This section includes a number of measures that aim to adapt and improve the current functioning of the EIT and the KICs. An effective, empowered and strategic Governing Board shall monitor the implementation of those measures at the EIT level, and shall provide the necessary incentives and control, including through the performance-based funding allocation process, to ensure that the KICs implement them.

3.6.1.  KIC operational model

The EIT shall ensure that the implementation of the KICs is in full compliance with the relevant requirements provided for in Regulation (EU) 2021/...(53), including ensuring the transition of the eight existing KICs towards the delivery of the new implementation criteria for European Partnerships set out in that Regulation. Therefore, the EIT shall provide strengthened operational guidance to the KICs and continuously monitor the KICs' performance to ensure compliance with sound management, good governance, monitoring and evaluation principles set out in Regulation (EU) 2021/...(54), as well as the principles and criteria for European Partnerships set out in Regulation (EU) 2021/...+ and alignment with the requirements stemming from Horizon Europe priorities and indicators in order to maximise their performance and impact, based on a long-term collaboration strategy between the EIT and the KICs. Appropriate corrective measures shall be taken if a KIC underperforms, delivers inadequate results, fails to achieve the expected impact or lacks Union added value.

The EIT shall ensure that the measures ensuring continuous openness of the KICs to new members as well as transparency during implementation be improved, in particular by adopting and applying transparent, clear and consistent accession and exit criteria for new members that add value to the partnerships, as well as other provisions such as transparent procedures for preparation of their business plans, and by systemically monitoring the KICs' activities. The KICs shall also run their activities in a fully transparent way ▌, including through open calls for identifying and selecting their projects, partners and other activities and shall remain open and dynamic partnerships that new partners across the Union, including an increasing share of SMEs and start-ups, that add value to the partnership are able to join on the basis of excellence and innovation relevance. In order to limit the concentration of funding and ensure that the KICs’ activities benefit from a wide network of partners, the procedure for the preparation of their business plans (including the identification of priorities, the selection of activities and the allocation of funds) and related funding decisions shall be made more transparent and inclusive. The KICs' multiannual strategies shall address the expansion of the partnership, including the establishment of new CLCs for which the Governing Board shall allocate an adequate budget. When deciding on the funding, the Governing Board shall take into account the progress towards the targets indicated in the multiannual strategies, inter alia, the number of CLCs. KICs shall make broader use of competitive funding mechanisms and increase the openness of calls, in particular for ▌projects that are open to third parties. All those measures will increase the number of participating entities involved in the KICs’ activities. Finally, the KICs shall report on the involvement of new partners in their regular reporting as one of the elements of their performance-based funding.

As KICs operate across the entire value chain of innovation, they shall ensure an appropriate and continuous balance between the three sides of the knowledge triangle and related activities in their business plan portfolio. The EIT shall monitor the KICs’ operations to ensure that they are implemented through a lean, efficient and cost-effective structure that keeps administrative, management and overhead costs to a minimum. The EIT shall ensure that the KICs achieve their expected impacts through a broad range of activities, identified in their business plans, which effectively support the fulfilment of their objectives, including their potential impact on innovation ecosystems at Union, national, regional and local level.

Commitments from each KIC’s partner shall be ensured by regularly monitoring the actual partner’s contributions against the original commitments. The EIT shall ensure that the KICs have a risk management system in place for cases where some partners are not able to meet their original commitments. In pursuing the financial sustainability of their activities, the KICs shall look to a wide range of revenue and investment sources. To that end, the KICs shall ensure that the conditions of access to the partnership remain attractive to a wide range of potential partners. Any membership or tuition fees should not constitute a barrier for the participation of relevant partners in a KIC, in particular for SMEs, start-ups and students.

3.6.2.   KIC funding model

Through a lean and simplified funding model, the EIT is expected to enhance the impact of the KICs and their contribution towards reaching the objectives of the EIT and Horizon Europe, as well as encourage the commitment of the KICs’ partners. In order to increase the added value ▌of its support, the EIT shall adapt its funding model. The EIT shall make best efforts to facilitate a smooth transition between MFF periods, in particular for the ongoing activities. There are three main areas where the EIT shall implement improvements.

First, the EIT shall gradually decrease the funding rate for KIC added-value activities(55)(56) in order to increase the levels of private and public investments other than revenues from their partners. The adaptation of the funding model is expected to facilitate the ability of the KICs to manage the transition towards financial sustainability. It is expected that KICs be encouraged to gradually decrease the share of EIT funding in their business plan during the duration of the ▌partnership agreements, while increasing the level of co-investment from non-EIT sources. Decreasing EIT funding rates for KIC added-value activities shall be applicable across phases of the KICs’ entire life cycle (start-up, ramp-up, maturity, exit from the EIT grant), as presented in the following table:

 

Start-up

Ramp-up

Maturity

Exit from EIT grant

Years

1 – 4

5 – 7

8 – 11

12 – 15

EIT funding rate

Up to 100 %

Up to 80 %

Up to 70 %

Up to 50 % at year 12, decreasing by 10 % per annum

Figure 1: EIT funding rates 2021-2027

The activities of some of the KICs, due to their specific nature, might need extra incentives to be performed. To that end, the Governing Board might decide to apply more favourable funding conditions for cross-KIC activities, RIS activities and the pilot higher education initiative.

Second, the EIT shall ensure that the grant allocation process will follow a performance-based funding model. The use of multiannual grants shall be increased to the extent possible. The EIT funding shall be directly tied to progress made in the areas listed in Article 10 and Article 11(5) of Regulation (EU) 2021/...(57) and to the KICs' objectives as laid down in their business plans, and could be reduced, modified or discontinued in the event of a lack of results. The EIT shall, inter alia, provide stronger incentives to the KICs to strive for new partners and shall take corrective measures, in particular based on the KIC’s individual performance, in order to ensure the highest level of impact. ▌

Third, the EIT shall apply strict rules for reinforcing the comprehensive assessment mechanism prior to the expiry of the initial seven-year period of the KIC’s operations in accordance with Articles 10 and 11 of Regulation (EU) 2021/...(58). That comprehensive assessment, to be undertaken with the help of independent external experts, shall be in line with best international practice and with ▌the monitoring and evaluation criteria for European Partnerships set out in Regulation (EU) 2021/...(59). It shall take place before the expiry of the initial seven-year period. As a result of the comprehensive assessment, the Governing Board shall decide to continue, modify or discontinue (thus not extending the partnership agreement with that KIC) the financial contribution to a KIC and reallocate the resources to better performing activities. The Governing Board shall seek the opinion of the MSRG prior to adopting that decision.

3.6.3.  Reducing the administrative burden

▌The EIT shall intensify its efforts towards simplification in order to reduce the administrative burden on the KICs, allowing the implementation of their ▌business plans and multiannual strategies in an agile and efficient way. Such simplification may include the use of lump sum or unit costs for relevant KIC activities. Moreover, in order to provide for better planning of resources, in particular of innovation activities, as well as facilitate stronger commitment and long-term investment from participating partners in the activities of the KICs, the EIT shall sign multiannual grant agreements with KICs, when appropriate including provisions for performance-based funding, under the respective ▌partnership agreements. Those multiannual grant agreements shall not exceed three years.

3.6.4.   EIT relation with KICs after the termination of the ▌partnership agreement

The EIT shall develop the general principles for the relation with KICs after the termination of the partnership agreement in line with the framework for European Partnerships provided for in Regulation (EU) 2021/...(60). Based on an in-depth independent study ▌, to be conducted by the end of 2023, the EIT shall establish, in close cooperation with the Commission, the overall framework for its relations with the KICs whose partnership agreement is terminated or expired in the course of the 2021-2027 programming period. That in-depth independent study shall include an assessment of the KIC’s efforts to achieve financial sustainability, the revenues generated and KIC’s financial outlook and shall identify any activities, the continuation of which might be at risk due to a lack of resources. Subject to a positive outcome of a final review, the EIT may conclude a memorandum of cooperation(61)(62) with a KIC, aiming to maintain active cooperation with it after the termination of the ▌partnership agreement.

The memorandum of cooperation shall include ▌:

(a)  rights and obligations linked to the continuation of the knowledge triangle activities as well as the maintenance of the KIC’s ecosystem and network;

(b)  conditions for the use of the EIT brand and participation in EIT Awards and in other initiatives organised by the EIT;

(c)  conditions for the participation in higher education and training activities including the use of the EIT label for education and training programmes and relations with the EIT Alumni Community;

(d)  conditions for participation in EIT competitive calls for some specific activities, including cross-KIC activities and shared services;

(e)  conditions for additional support from the EIT for transnational coordination activities among the CLCs with a high Union added value.

Taking into account the results of an in-depth independent study, the Governing Board shall establish the duration, content and structure of the memorandum of cooperation, including the specific activities of the KICs that can be supported under points (a) to (e) of the second paragraph. The KICs shall be entitled to participate in the activities of the EIT in accordance with the conditions set out in the memorandum of cooperation, including the participation in competitive calls.

3.7.   Synergies and complementarities with other Union programmes

Building on its broad scope of action and distinctive role as an integral part of Horizon Europe, the EIT is well placed to create synergies and provide complementarities, while avoiding duplications, with other Union programmes or instruments, including by reinforcing its support for KICs in their planning and implementing activities. The EIT is expected to contribute to synergies in the mid to long term, inter alia with regard to the following:

Erasmus+

–   The EIT shall seek to establish synergies between Erasmus+ and EIT communities. Cooperation is to be geared towards ensuring access for Erasmus+ students participating in KIC partner HEIs to KIC summer schools or other relevant training activities (for instance, on entrepreneurship and innovation management) and establishing contacts with the KICs’ alumni network.

–   Cooperation activities may also include delivery of training by the EIT or the KICs to academic staff (from any HEIs, beyond the KICs) for curricula integrating entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as testing, adoption and scaling-up of innovative practices developed within Erasmus+ networks (such as the alliances for innovation between HEIs and businesses) by KICs and vice versa.

–   Synergies are to be ensured, where possible, with the European Universities initiative that could help mainstream the EIT’s education activities to reach a systemic impact.

Digital Europe Programme, established by Regulation (EU) 2021/... of the European Parliament and of the Council(63)(64)

–   The KICs, in particular the CLCs, shall collaborate with the European Digital Innovation Hubs in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/...(65) to support the digital transformation of the industry and public sector organisations.

–   Feasibilities shall be explored to use infrastructures and capacities developed under the Digital Europe Programme (such as data resources and libraries of artificial intelligence algorithms and high performance computing competence centres in Member States) by the KICs in education and training, as well as for testing and demonstration purposes in innovation projects.

Cohesion Policy Funds (in particular the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund, established by a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Regional Development Fund and on the Cohesion Fund and the European Social Fund Plus, established by a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+))

–   The KICs, through the CLCs and RIS hubs, shall promote regional and cross-regional cooperation between the knowledge triangle actors and managing authorities, in synergy with interregional cooperation and investments along value chains in related smart specialisation priority areas, and the work of the thematic smart specialisation platforms. Such cooperation with managing authorities may lead to including KIC activities in the operational programmes. The EIT shall also explore contributing to the skills development initiatives under the Cohesion Policy Funds through the exchange of best practices.

–   The EIT shall promote the collaboration between relevant KICs and the smart specialisation platforms, in order to facilitate synergies between EIT resources, Cohesion Policy Funds and other Union, national and regional programmes. The aim is to reach a broader representation of EIT activities across the Union, to strengthen links with smart specialisation strategies and to better use the RIS to leverage ESIF in EIT and KIC activities.

InvestEU Programme

–   The KICs shall seek the collaboration of the InvestEU Advisory Hub to provide technical support and assistance to KIC-backed ventures for the preparation, development, and implementation of projects.

–   The KICs shall strive to contribute to feed the InvestEU Portal in order to bring investors and financial intermediaries closer to KIC-backed ventures, in close collaboration with Commission services and in synergy with the EIC.

Creative Europe Programme, established by Regulation (EU) 2021/... of the European Parliament and of the Council(66)(67)

The Creative Europe Programme is ▌relevant, inter alia, to the activities of a new KIC on CCSI. Strong synergies and complementarities are to be developed with the Creative Europe Programme in areas such as creative skills, jobs and business models.

Single Market Programme, established by Regulation (EU) 2021/... of the European Parliament and of the Council(68)(69)

KICs shall seek cooperation with the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) and its Sector Groups to facilitate business-to-business cooperation, technology transfer and innovation partnerships for entrepreneurs wishing to develop their activities across the Union and beyond in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/...(70). EEN organisations will promote the KICs’ activities among their SME clients. The EIT shall explore cooperation on the mobility programmes for new entrepreneurs to improve their entrepreneurial skills.

4.  Tackling the crisis resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19

Major social, economic, environmental and technological changes arising from the COVID-19 crisis will require the collaboration of all Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies. The EIT should contribute to the necessary innovation efforts by providing a coherent response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The EIT will ensure that the KICs support and promote the delivery of innovative solutions in different fields of action in accordance with the priorities of the Recovery Plan for Europe, the European Green Deal, the New Industrial Strategy for Europe and the SDGs, thus contributing to the recovery of Europe’s societies and economy and strengthening their sustainability and resilience.

In particular, the EIT should ensure that the KICs are able to operate with the necessary flexibility to adapt to the challenges arising from the COVID-19 crisis, as well as to new and unexpected challenges and priorities. Under the supervision and control of the EIT, the KICs could create measures that are fit for the purpose of supporting and increasing the resilience of their ecosystems, namely their partners and beneficiaries and beyond their existing communities. Specific attention should be paid to actions aiming to increase the resilience of microenterprises, SMEs and start-ups, as well as students, researchers, entrepreneurs and employees who have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 crisis.

The KICs are also invited to exploit synergies with other Union initiatives and partnerships, with a view to supporting the strength of Europe’s innovation ecosystems.

In adapting to the new situation, the KICs may make use of innovative collaborative tools, instruments, information and support services to ensure collaboration and interaction within their communities.

The EIT, seeking synergies with other Union programmes and agencies, may propose initiatives based on the integration of the knowledge triangle aiming to support innovation ecosystems in the Union. To that end, the EIT may promote new cross-KIC activities to tackle challenges arising from the COVID-19 crisis.

5.  Resources

5.1.  Budget needs

The EIT's budget needs in the period 2021-2027 are EUR 2 965 000 000 and are based on three main components: (1) expenditure for the existing eight KICs (reflecting that for three of them the ▌partnership agreements will come to an end by 2024) and the launch of two new KICs (one in 2022 or 2023 and a second one in 2026); (2) ▌EIT ▌administrative expenditure; and (3) expenses for preparation, monitoring, control, audit, evaluation and other activities and expenditures necessary for managing and implementing the activities of the EIT, as well as evaluating the achievement of its objectives in accordance with Article 12(6) of Regulation (EU) 2021/...(71).

Around EUR 2 854 000 000 (96 % of the total EIT budget) is envisaged to fund existing and new KICs of which:

(a)  at least 10 % and a maximum of 15 % shall be dedicated to the RIS;

(b)  a maximum of 7 % shall be dedicated to cross-KIC activities, including support for KICs for which the partnership agreement is expired or terminated;

(c)  a maximum of 3 % shall be dedicated to a pilot higher education initiative of three years.

Through the introduction of a gradually decreasing EIT funding rate, the KICs are expected to mobilise a further EUR ▌1 500 ▌000 000 of other public and private sources. The budget for the launch of two new KICs (one to be launched as soon as possible in 2022 or 2023 and a second to be launched in 2026) will be around EUR ▌300 ▌000 000. If budget allocations additional to those of the EIT become available, the EIT may launch additional KICs.

The EIT shall continue to be a lean and dynamic organisation. The costs of EIT administrative expenditure, covering necessary staff, administrative, infrastructure and operational expenses, shall, on average, not exceed 3 % of the EIT budget. Part of the administrative expenditure is covered by Hungary through the provision of office space free of charge until the end of 2029. To that end, a major effort shall be made to decrease the KICs’ administrative costs which, in any event, shall be kept to a reasonable minimum. ▌

5.2.  Impact (monitoring and evaluation)

The measurement of the EIT’s impact is expected to be continuously improved over the next programming period taking into account the lessons learnt and the experiences gained so far and the need to streamline its practices with those of Horizon Europe. The EIT shall apply an evaluation, reporting and monitoring framework in accordance with Articles 10, 11 and 20 of Regulation (EU) 2021/...(72), ensuring coherence with the overall approach taken for Horizon Europe while catering for flexibility. In particular, feedback loops between the Commission, the EIT and the KICs shall be improved in order to address the objectives in a consistent, coherent and efficient manner.

5.2.1.   Reporting and monitoring

The EIT shall improve its current monitoring system and introduce a reporting and monitoring framework including key performance indicators, aligned with the impact pathway indicators of Horizon Europe. The reporting and monitoring of the KICs' operational performance, including their administrative expenditure and their results, will be a primary task of the EIT and shall be implemented in cooperation with Horizon Europe common corporate services within the Commission. The reporting and monitoring system for the KICs shall be built into the overall Horizon Europe monitoring system, in particular by implementing common data models including data collection stored in the Horizon Europe database. The Commission shall take part in the co-design of all relevant impact and monitoring indicators and tools developed or applied by the EIT in order to ensure coherence with the overall Horizon Europe monitoring system, including the impact pathway indicators, the criteria for European Partnerships and the strategic planning of Horizon Europe. Continuous monitoring procedures, as well as interim review and comprehensive assessment procedures, including the establishment of a sound set of quantitative and qualitative indicators and their related baseline and targets, shall be established by the Governing Board. Furthermore, the EIT shall take into account the deployment of the innovation radar methodology in Horizon Europe, and shall explore how innovation radar could be leveraged by the KICs in order to enhance its monitoring activities.

▌The results of such monitoring shall feed into the KICs’ multiannual business planning processes and determine the allocation of the EIT's performance-based funding of the KICs' activities and the preparation of the ▌partnership agreements and grant agreements with the KICs as beneficiaries. Furthermore, the results of the monitoring of the KICs is expected to feed into the strategic coordinating process for the European Partnerships.

The EIT’s activities, including those managed through the KICs, are expected to have:

(1)  a technological, economic and innovation impact by influencing the creation and growth of businesses, as well as the creation of new innovative solutions to address global challenges, creating direct and indirect jobs and mobilising additional public and private investments;

(2)  a scientific and educational impact by strengthening human capital in research and innovation, enhancing innovative and entrepreneurial skills both at individual and organisational levels and fostering the creation and diffusion of knowledge and innovation openly within society;

(3)  a societal impact, including an impact derived by the delivery of systemic solutions within and beyond the EIT Community, also through cross-KIC activities, by addressing Union policy priorities in the fields of climate change (such as mitigation, adaptation and resilience), energy, raw materials, health, added value manufacturing, digital, urban mobility, food, culture and creativity, or water through innovative solutions, engagement with citizens and end-users and by strengthening the uptake of innovative solutions in those areas of society.

The EIT shall ensure the development of specific societal indicators in the areas of activity of the KICs and shall carry out regular monitoring in line with the Horizon Europe framework for societal impact.

The impacts referred to in the third paragraph shall be measured, inter alia, in accordance with the impact pathway indicators set out in Annex V to Regulation (EU) 2021/...(73).

Additional indicators, including societal impact indicators in the areas of activity of the KICs, shall be developed by the EIT together with the Commission in line with the development of the Horizon Europe indicator framework and shall reflect the overall approach for European Partnerships to contribute to scientific, economic and societal impact. The alignment of the impact indicators with Horizon Europe aims to monitor progress towards the EIT’s objectives over time, ensuring a comparative evidence-base on results and impacts generated by the KICs vis-à-vis Horizon Europe. In addition, the EIT shall ensure that the monitoring system captures progress in relation to activities specific to the KIC model, such as knowledge triangle integration and entrepreneurial skills. ▌The indicators on EIT education-related activities (including those supporting the capacities of HEIs) shall monitor for example:

(1)  human capital skill acquisition and HEI engagement and capacity improvement (short term);

(2)  career and the role and performance of HEIs in local innovation ecosystems (medium term); and

(3)  working conditions and the role and performance HEIs in local innovation ecosystems (long term).

The continuous monitoring of the KICs shall be performed in an efficient way and address, inter alia, the following:

(1)  progress towards financial sustainability in particular leveraging new sources of investments;

(2)  progress towards pan-European coverage and openness, as well as transparency of governance;

(3)  effectiveness in business acceleration (namely, created and supported high-growth ventures);

(4)  each KIC’s administrative and management costs;

(5)  the operations of CLCs and the RIS hubs and entities and their integration in the local innovation ecosystems;

(6)  the implementation of education and training activities, including the extended use of the EIT label.

The following table sets out a non-exhaustive list of key performance indicators and targets that are expected to be monitored by the EIT in the period 2021-2027. Those indicators provide the main input and output orientations for monitoring the achievement of the EIT’s key objectives for 2021-2027, such as fostering innovation and entrepreneurship through better education, increasing its regional and local impact and openness towards potential partners and stakeholders, ensuring balance between revenues and costs, establishment of new CLCs and bringing new innovative solutions to global challenges to market.

EIT Management Indicators

Target 2023

(baseline 2020)

Target 2027

(baseline 2020)

Number of entities/organisations participating in activities of the EIT and the KICs

20 % increase

50 % increase

Number of innovations (products and services) launched on the market

1 500

4 000

HEIs involved in activities of the EIT and the KICs

285

680

Number of students involved in education activities of the EIT and the KICs

8 500

25 500

Number of start-ups supported

300

700

KICs’ funding

EUR 700 000 000

EUR 1 500 000 000

Number of entities/organisations participating in activities of the EIT and the KICs from regions outside the KICs’ CLC regions

50 % increase

100 % increase

In order to improve openness and transparency, the EIT shall ensure that the project data collected through its internal monitoring system, including the results from the KICs, is fully accessible and integrated in the overall data management system of Horizon Europe. The EIT shall ensure that detailed information arising from its monitoring and evaluation process is made available in a timely manner and is accessible in the Horizon Europe database. In addition, the EIT shall ensure dedicated reporting on quantitative and qualitative impacts, including on committed and actually provided financial contributions.

5.2.2.  Evaluation, interim review and comprehensive assessment

The periodic independent evaluations of EIT activities, including those managed through the KICs, shall be carried out by the Commission in accordance with Regulations (EU) 2021/...(74) and (EU) 2021/...(75).

In accordance with Article 20 of Regulation (EU) 2021/...(76), the interim evaluation shall assess, inter alia, the result and impacts of the pilot higher education initiative, the effectiveness of the KICs’ financial sustainability strategies, the impact of RIS activities and the collaboration between the EIT and the implementing bodies under Pillar III 'Innovative Europe' of Horizon Europe. In that respect, the EIT evaluations shall, in particular, assess the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and Union added value of the EIT activities, including through the KICs. They shall be carried out by the Commission, with the assistance of independent external experts, and they shall feed into the Horizon Europe evaluations carried out by the Commission, also in view of a systemic assessment of the Pillar III 'Innovative Europe' of Horizon Europe, in particular with respect to the one-stop shop for innovation.

Each KIC shall be subject to a comprehensive assessment conducted by the EIT, under the supervision of the Governing Board and with the support of independent external experts, before the end of the seven-year period of the partnership agreement, as well as to a final review before its end. On the basis of a comprehensive assessment, the Governing Board shall decide on whether to extend the partnership agreement beyond the first seven years, while the final review shall be used as a basis on which to negotiate a possible memorandum of cooperation. When conducting those evaluations, in accordance with Article 11(5) of Regulation (EU) 2021/...(77), the Governing Board shall take into account the implementing, monitoring and evaluation criteria for the European Partnerships set out in Regulation (EU) 2021/...(78), the achievement of the KIC’s objectives, its coordination with other relevant research and innovation initiatives, its level of financial sustainability, its capacity to ensure openness to new members, the transparency of its governance, and its achievement in attracting new members, within the limits of the Union contribution referred to in Article 21 of Regulation (EU) 2021/...+, the Union added value and relevance with regard to the objectives of the EIT.

In addition, in accordance with Article 11(2) of Regulation (EU) 2021/...(79), the EIT shall, under the supervision of the Governing Board, conduct interim reviews of the KICs’ performance and activities covering their first three years of the partnership agreement (namely, the KICs’ start-up phase) and, if it is the case, the three years following its extension (namely, the maturity phase). Those reviews shall be based on the continuous monitoring performed by the EIT. They shall help the Governing Board to get early indications on the KICs’ performance with respect to their strategy and targets, as well as compliance with Governing Board indications.

In accordance with Article 11(6) of Regulation (EU) 2021/...+, in the event that the continuous monitoring, an interim review or the comprehensive assessment of a KIC shows inadequate progress in areas referred to in Article 10 of that Regulation or a lack of Union added value, the Governing Board shall take appropriate corrective measures. The corrective measures may take the form of a reduction, modification or withdrawal of the EIT's financial contribution or the termination of a partnership agreement, as well as binding recommendations related to the KIC’s activities, or suggestions for adaptations of its delivery and operational models.

The results of those interim reviews and evaluations shall be made publicly available, communicated to the European Parliament and to the Council and reported to the strategic coordinating process for European Partnerships.

APPENDIX 1

Factsheet on the KIC on Cultural and Creative Sectors and Industries (CCSI)

▌I. The Challenge

A KIC on CCSI(80) can bring a horizontal solution to an array of rising challenges, which are of a permanent nature and may be addressed through education, research and innovation activities. Those challenges may be grouped into four pillars:

(1)  European creativity, cultural and linguistic diversity ▌;

(2)  European identity and cohesion;

(3)  European employment, economic resilience and smart growth; and

(4)  Europe as a global actor.

European creativity and cultural diversity depends on resilient and robust CCSI. However those sectors ▌are facing a number of challenges as a result of the increased competition from global players and the digital shift.

–   Producers, creators, distributors, broadcasters, cinema, theatres and all types of cultural organisations and businesses need to innovate in order to attract new ▌ audiences and expand, and to develop new processes, services, contents and practices that provide societal value.

–   The shortage of entrepreneurship and cross-cutting skills in cultural and creative sectors(81) concerns both emerging sub-sectors and very mature ones that undergo a profound digital transformation. Those skills are needed for innovation and are crucial in light of labour market changes that the sector is facing.

–   Cultural heritage is an undisputed expression of cultural identity, an important public good and a source of innovation, providing good return on investment and significant economic revenues, but its potential is still largely untapped. As a catalyst for sustainable heritage-led regeneration and an essential stimulus to education and lifelong learning, fostering cooperation and social cohesion, it is likely to benefit greatly from a KIC on CCSI.

Societal challenges related to European identity and cohesion can generally be described in terms of a lack of ‘bridges’ connecting different parts of society and connecting different territories. They include issues related to social exclusion, the need to build closer intercultural links, protect linguistic diversity, including minority languages, and develop a sense of common belonging based on our cultural diversity and common heritage that could be addressed through more inclusive and accessible community participation, innovations in design, architecture and the use of public spaces, as well as culture-led societal innovation. In particular:

–   there is limited cooperation among researchers, between research and industry, and between public and third sector organisations, as well as insufficient coordination and unnecessary duplication of research and development efforts, sharing of methods, results, and best practices; ▌

–   the level of integration of creative clusters and innovation hubs is insufficient;

–   a significant share of regional smart specialisation priorities in Europe refers to culture under different angles (such as cultural heritage, creative industries and the arts);

–   given the important role of culture and creativity for the economic and social development of cities and regions and their ability to further help address disparity issues across Europe, the potential of a KIC on CCSI is high.

Current challenges related to European employment, economic resilience, and smart growth, include socio-economic issues such as tackling unemployment (in particular youth unemployment), improving skills and working environments and facing global competition.

–   There is a high market concentration: in 2013, around 50 % of the total Union turnover and added value was generated in the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

–   Globalisation, digitisation and technological innovation have a strong impact on European industries. Those developments have changed the way in which artists produce and distribute their works and relate to their audiences, changing the traditional business models of CCSIs, and they have fundamentally altered consumer expectations and behaviour. In addition, the increasing power of non-European content production companies has had a huge impact on the traditional value chain.

–  Creative, cultural and artistic productions often face the challenge of monetising their output and products, thereby creating highly precarious areas of work. New innovative ways of supporting micro, small and medium-sized creative and cultural organisations and enterprises are to be found.

The role of Europe as a global actor includes the need to enhance the dissemination of European cultural content ▌. Europe needs to remain competitive in the global digital race for the creation of new technologies (such as Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and blockchain) for which CCSI are important generators of content, products and services ▌. Moreover, on a global scale, CCSI (such as design and architecture) contribute actively to the sustainable development and drive green innovation, while cultural content (literature, film and the arts) can, in addition to its intrinsic value, raise awareness of ecological problems and inform public opinion.

▌II. Relevance and impact

A KIC on CCSI – with its holistic and integrated approach – will help address all the challenges set out in Section I. By covering nearly all sectors of our lives, society and economy, that KIC is likely to be highly relevant in terms of its economic and societal impact, unlocking strategic opportunities for economic, technological and social innovation. It is also likely to be instrumental in allowing HEIs in the arts to play a more active role in developing hybrid competences and an entrepreneurial mindset that better meets the needs of industry.

Culture-based and creativity-driven innovations boost European competitiveness either directly by creating new enterprises and jobs or indirectly by creating cross-sector benefits to the wider economy, improving quality of life and increasing the attractiveness of Europe. Cultural and creative sectors (such as cultural heritage and the arts) are increasingly seen as new sources of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs. Those sectors are already employing more than 12 million people in the Union, which amounts to more than 7,5 % of all persons employed in the Union. Cultural heritage is a key component of the cultural and creative sectors and a major contributor to the attractiveness of Europe’s regions, cities, towns and rural areas. It is a driver for private sector investments, for talent attraction, for business generation and for direct and indirect job creation.

The contribution of culture and creativity to innovation ▌is increasingly driven by non-technological factors such as creativity, design and new organisational processes or business models. In particular, the sectors with distinct value chains (namely, music, the arts, design, fashion, audiovisual, video games and architecture) have a strong innovation capacity in economic terms and are able to drive innovation in other sectors of the economy.

Culture and participation in cultural activities have a direct impact on the well-being of citizens and social inclusion. Cultural and creative industries enhance societal values of identity, democracy and community participation. Culture has a great potential to reinforce a European sense of belonging, where diversity represents an asset. This is of fundamental importance to enable resilience, social access, societal cohesion, anti-radicalisation and gender equality, and to tackle Europe’s political uncertainties and the need for unity.

A KIC on CCSI is to empower network opportunities, collaboration, co-creation and knowhow transfer between education, research, business, public and third-sector organisations, within the cultural and creative sectors and with other sectors of the society and the economy. It is intended to:

–   catalyse bottom up and top down initiatives at Union, national and regional level. It will develop the necessary framework conditions for the creation and scale-up of new ventures in innovative ecosystems;

–   provide researchers and students in many disciplines (including the arts, humanities, social sciences, applied hard sciences and business) and entrepreneurs of the cultural and creative industries and other sectors with the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver innovative solutions and to turn them into new cultural, societal and business opportunities; and

–   allow further cross-fertilisation with other economic and industrial sectors, acting as an accelerator for innovation.

▌III. Synergies and complementarities with existing initiatives

A KIC on CCSI would be complementary to a number of other Union initiatives, as well as such at the level of Member States. The main synergies expected at Union level are presented in this Section.

A KIC on CCSI is expected to establish strong synergies with relevant policy initiatives under Horizon Europe, and in particular under Pillar II 'Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness' with the cluster 'Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society' and its areas of intervention on cultural heritage and democracy. A KIC on CCSI could also provide valuable horizontal inputs across various activities to be carried out in the cluster 'Digital, Industry and Space', in particular as regards the manufacturing technologies in which the need to develop new products relies heavily on CCSI. Furthermore, it could efficiently complement other parts of Horizon Europe, the intervention of the existing EIT Digital and the actions planned under other Union programmes such as InvestEU Programme, Erasmus+, Creative Europe Programme, Digital Europe Programme or the Cohesion Policy Funds.

The Creative Europe Programme will be highly relevant for the activities of a KIC on CCSI. The Creative Europe Programme elects strands and special calls reflecting some of the challenges facing the cultural and creative sector (such as skills and employment and business models) and aims to develop strong synergies and complementarities. Under the InvestEU Programme, and in the context of limited access to finance for the cultural and creative sectors, synergies are expected with the financial mechanism helping to scale up cultural and creative projects by providing insurance to financial intermediaries.

The Smart Specialisation Strategy (S3 strategy) platform on Industrial Modernisation has identified a number of research and innovation strategies that focus on CCSI and explore new links between local assets, potential markets and societal challenges through the involvement of a large set of entrepreneurial actors. In particular, the promotion of new partnerships between research organisations, enterprises and public authorities is a major concern of the S3 strategy, calling for the set-up of new collaborative platforms.

IV.  Conclusion

A KIC on CCSI is most suited to address the major economic and societal challenges referred to in this Appendix. Creativity is a key driver of innovation and a KIC on CCSI has the capacity to unleash the potential of artistic, culture-based creativity and to help strengthen Europe’s competitiveness, sustainability, prosperity and smart growth.

APPENDIX 2

Factsheet on the KIC on Water, Marine and Maritime Sectors and Ecosystems (WMM)

This Appendix presents an overview of the WMM field at the time of preparation of the SIA 2021-2027. Prior to the launch of a KIC on WMM, the Commission shall perform an analysis to reflect developments in scientific, technological and socio-economic trends, and ensure:

(1)  full alignment with the strategic planning of Horizon Europe;

(2)  full alignment with the criteria for European Partnerships set out in Annex III of Regulation (EU) 2021/...(82); and

(3)  coherence with existing initiatives at Union, national and regional level, including European Partnerships and missions.

I.  The challenge

Seas, oceans and inland waters play a central role in human life, health and wellbeing, in the provision of food, critical ecosystem services, renewable energy and other resources, as well as in climate-related dynamics and in the preservation of biodiversity. During the last 100 years, the overuse and mismanagement of natural resources have placed a great pressure on freshwater and marine ecosystems. Therefore, the creation of a circular and sustainable blue economy that develops within ecological limits and that is based on the reliable availability of an acceptable quantity and quality of water as well as on healthy and functioning freshwater and marine ecosystems is a challenge. That challenge encompasses mainly: (1) water scarcity, drought and floods; (2) marine and freshwater ecosystem degradation; and (3) the circular and sustainable blue economy.

1.  Water scarcity, drought and floods

Continued climate change and over-extraction of fresh water are increasing the severity and frequency of water scarcity and droughts. Without innovative methods and technologies to gather, predict, prepare and disseminate information and solutions about waterbody safety, potential threats and mitigation of risks, the Union is exposed to severe economic and social harm. Water scarcity accompanies the pressure on land driven by the need to increase biomass production, carbon sequestration and wilderness to achieve decarbonisation and biodiversity targets. The Commission’s impact assessment(83) indicates that shifting protein production to non-fed aquaculture and to integrated multi-trophic aquaculture and aquaponics, could relieve pressure on land and freshwater.

2.  Marine and freshwater ecosystem degradation

Coastal, marine and freshwater ecosystems are subject to pressure from direct human activity and accelerating climate change. The damage includes the loss of biodiversity, the depletion of fish stocks, damage to the sea floor, including from the use of harmful devices such as fishing gear, obstruction of rivers, eutrophication pollution, and the accumulation of marine litter including a high level of fishing gear and microplastics that are discarded in the oceans. Poor ecological health not only compromises biodiversity targets but also harms those communities and businesses that depend on clean water and healthy ecosystems. The global market for goods and services for measuring and mitigating that degradation is growing and is highly competitive. Innovation that can enhance, restore and recover marine, coastal and freshwater capital and innovation into sustainable fishing gear and methods is key for the competitiveness of Union businesses and to supporting jobs and growth across the Union.

3.  The circular and sustainable blue economy

The circular economy path not only safeguards human health and resource efficiency, but is also an engine of sustainable growth. The planned unprecedented growth in offshore wind energy and other innovative ocean energy technologies, which must not undermine environmental protection, offer opportunities both for the enhancement of biodiversity (such as artificial reefs and oyster beds) and for new activities that make use of the space and renewable electricity such as aquaculture and hydrogen electrolysis. Non-fed aquaculture is able to recycle the excess nutrients that would otherwise cause eutrophication. New targets for emissions reduction and renewable fuel in maritime transport require innovation in propulsion and logistics. The reuse of wastewater prevents shortages that may be exacerbated by a changing climate.

II.  Relevance and impact

A KIC on WMM – with a holistic and integrated approach – will help address the challenges referred to in Section I. This field has a relatively strong knowledge base and high market potential. European countries have produced more research papers on water science and technology in the past 15 years than both the United States of America and the rest of the world. Moreover, the Union, together with China and the United States of America, is one of the leading maritime economies. According to the most recent figures from 2018, the established sectors of the blue economy employed over five million people in the Union, and generated EUR 750 billion of turnover and EUR 218 billion of gross value added. However, there is a clear fragmentation of efforts and disconnections between education, research and innovation activities. For example, less than 20 % of research and development organisations in water sciences have an effective cooperation with industries or enterprises.

Newly emerging innovation sectors (such as biotechnologies and offshore energy production) open new market opportunities for new technologies and new business and highly skilled jobs. Those sectors and the technological transition of the more traditional marine-related sectors would require trans-disciplinary approaches and new types of education across discipline boundaries. In particular, academic programmes tend to be rather broad, whereas the sectors require specific knowledge and skills. Additionally, curricula in areas such as engineering, urban design and architecture do not sufficiently cover issues related to ecology, marine engineering and management of water.

Establishing a KIC on WMM is intended to comprise a real contribution to strengthening innovation ecosystems and stimulating cooperation across the knowledge triangle, in order to accelerate the uptake of new technologies and approaches and boost the development of more sustainable products and methods, in particular as far as fishing gear is concerned. The establishment of a pan-European multi-disciplinary community of knowledge triangle partners would help to promote the blue economy vision and boost world-wide competitiveness of European marine and maritime science and technology. Such a community would help bring to the market innovative projects of blue science and technology that would provide solutions to urgent practical challenges of sustainability and contribute to an "Ecosystem-based Blue Economy" not only at a European but also at a global level. A KIC on WMM would lead to better management of human interactions with water-marine ecosystems directly contributing to a sustainable blue economy that develops within ecological limits, in particular by ensuring the sustainable management of marine ecosystems.

III.  Synergies and complementarities with existing initiatives

The KIC on WMM shall establish the strongest possible synergies with relevant Union policy initiatives as well as within Horizon Europe, and interact at an international level with relevant UN initiatives and the SDGs, in particular SDG 6 “Clean Water and Sanitation”, SDG 11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities”, SDG 13 “Climate Action” and SDG 14 “Life below Water”.

The KIC on WMM shall be aligned with the priorities established in Directive (EU) 2020/2184 of the European Parliament and of the Council(84), Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council(85), Directive 2014/89/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council(86), Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (87), the communication of the Commission of 10 October 2007 on An integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union and international commitments. The KIC on WMM shall contribute to priorities established in the European Green Deal, in particular the “Farm to Fork Strategy”, the “Zero pollution action plan for air, water and soil”, the “initiatives to increase and better manage the capacity of inland waterways” and the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030.

Some regional S3 strategies have identified a number of research and innovation strategies that focus on marine and aquatic industries and explore new links between local assets, potential markets and societal challenges through the involvement of a large set of entrepreneurial actors.

Strong complementarities with the components of Horizon Europe are to be ensured and duplications are to be avoided, in particular with:

(1)   the possible mission on “healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters”;

(2)   relevant European Partnerships, in particular the ones on “a climate-neutral, sustainable and productive Blue Economy”, “Rescuing biodiversity to safeguard life on Earth”, “Water4All”, “Clean energy transition”, “Driving urban transition”, “Food systems” and “Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area” (Horizon 2020);

(3)  all clusters of Pillar II 'Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness';

(4)  research infrastructures; and

(5)  the EIC.

Strong complementarities with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and BlueInvest are also to be ensured for the uptake of promising innovations and duplications are to be avoided.

IV.  Conclusion

The KIC on WMM is best suited to addressing the major economic, environmental and societal challenges referred to in this Appendix. That KIC is needed, in particular, to strengthen the innovation ecosystems throughout Europe tackling the water-related challenges, train the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs, and find and support innovative solutions for those challenges.

The KIC on WMM shall:

(1)   reduce the fragmentation of the water, maritime and marine sectors’ innovation landscape by fostering the creation of innovation ecosystems that will connect actors and networks across sectors and disciplines at Union, national, regional and local level;

(2)  promote an integrated and multidisciplinary approach through collaboration among HEIs, research organisations, innovative businesses, public and third-sector organisations in the blue economy sectors in order to deliver on the Union objectives on green and digital transitions;

(3)  connect actors and networks across sectors and disciplines at Union, national regional and local level, in particular by identifying the relevant S3 strategy and further regional strategies which include blue economy sectors;

(4)  train and develop the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs in the blue economy sectors by equipping them with the necessary entrepreneurial and technological skills needed for sustainable and competitive development;

(5)  contribute to the development of the appropriate framework conditions to transform ideas into new technological developments and social innovation, and to their market deployment in view of improving the quality of life and benefitting Union citizens;

(6)  establish synergies with other European Partnerships, missions, the EIC, the EIB and BlueInvest, in order to scale up innovations, allow other sectors to prosper in a sustainable manner and increase the market deployment and societal acceptance of innovative solutions; and

(7)  strengthen the Union's position as a global actor in ocean science, inland waters management and ecosystem protection and restoration.

(1) OJ C 47, 11.2.2020, p. 69.
(2) OJ C 47, 11.2.2020, p. 69.
(3) Position of the European Parliament of 27 April 2021.
(4) Regulation (EU) 2021/... of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... on the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (OJ ...).
(5)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file (2019/0151(COD)) and insert the number, date and OJ reference of that Regulation in the footnote.
(6) Regulation (EU) 2021/... of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... establishing Horizon Europe – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, laying down its rules for participation and dissemination, and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1290/2013 and (EU) No 1291/2013 (OJ ...).
(7)++ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)) and insert the number, date and OJ reference of that Regulation in the footnote.
(8)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(9)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(10) Decision No 1312/2013/EU European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the Strategic Innovation Agenda of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT): the contribution of the EIT to a more innovative Europe (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 892).
(11)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(12)Regulation (EC) No 294/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2008 establishing the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (OJ L 97, 9.4.2008, p. 1).
(13)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(14) OJ L 282, 19.10.2016, p. 4.
(15) As defined in point (2) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) 2021/... .
(16)+ OJ: please insert in the footnote the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(17) As defined in point (3) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) 2021/... .
(18)+ OJ: please insert in the footnote the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(19)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(20) As defined in point (16) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) 2021/... .
(21)++ OJ: please insert in the footnote the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(22) As defined in point (7) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) 2021/... .
(23)+ OJ: please insert in the footnotes the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(24) As defined in point (6) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) 2021/... .
(25) As defined in point (10) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) 2021/... and section 3.2 of this Annex.
(26)Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) and repealing Decision No 1982/2006/EC (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 104).
(27) As defined in point (4) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) 2021/... .
(28)+ OJ: please insert in the footnote the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(29) As defined in point (2) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) 2021/... .
(30)+ OJ: please insert in the footnote the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(31)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(32) Regulation (EU) 2021/523 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 March 2021 establishing the InvestEU Programme and amending Regulation (EU) 2015/1017 (OJ L 107, 26.3.2021, p. 30).
(33) Council Decision (EU) 2021/... of ... on establishing the Specific Programme implementing Horizon Europe – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, and repealing Decision 2013/743/EU (OJ ...).
(34)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Decision contained in document st8967/20 and insert the number, date and OJ reference in the footnote.
(35) As defined in point (8) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) 2021/... .
(36)++ OJ: please insert in the footnote the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(37)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(38)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(39)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(40) As defined in point (14) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) 2021/... .
(41)+ OJ: please insert in the footnote the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(42)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(43)HEInnovate is a policy framework developed by the Commission and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). HEInnovate offers HEIs a methodology to identify innovation capacity areas for further development and to shape relevant strategies and actions in order to achieve the desired impact. HEInnovate is based on sound methodological evidence with eight capacity development areas: Leadership and Governance; Digital Transformation; Organisational Capacity; Entrepreneurial Teaching and Learning; Preparing and Supporting Entrepreneurs; Knowledge Exchange; Internationalisation; and Measuring Impact. OECD has published a number of HEInnovate-based country reports, see OECD Skills Studies series at https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/
(44)The Regional Innovation Impact Assessment framework (RIIA) was developed by the Commission as a first step in guiding assessments of the innovation impact of universities through the elaboration of metrics based case studies. Assessing the innovation impact, e.g. through the RIIA framework, could potentially be tied to innovation performance based funding instruments at the Union, national or regional level.
(45) Regulation (EU) 2021/... of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... establishing Erasmus+: the Union Programme for education and training, youth and sport and repealing Regulation (EU) No 1288/2013 (OJ ...).
(46)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file (2018/0191(COD)) and insert the number, date and OJ reference of that Regulation in the footnote.
(47)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(48) As defined in point (11) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) 2021/... .
(49)+ OJ: please insert in the footnote the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(50)The EIT Alumni Community brings together entrepreneurs and change agents who have participated in an education or entrepreneurship programme delivered by a KIC. The Community represents a network of over 5 000 members.
(51)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
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(54)++ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(55) As defined in point (13) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) 2021/... .
(56)+ OJ: please insert in the footnote the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(57)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(58)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(59)++ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(60)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(61) As defined in point (15) of Article 2 of Regulation (EU) 2021/... .
(62)++ OJ: please insert in the footnote the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(63) Regulation (EU) 2021/... of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... establishing the Digital Europe Programme and repealing Decision (EU) 2015/2240 (OJ ...).
(64)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file (2018/0227(COD)) and insert the number, date and OJ reference of that Regulation in the footnote.
(65)++ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file (2018/0227(COD)).
(66) Regulation (EU) 2021/... of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... establishing the Creative Europe Programme (2021 to 2027) and repealing Regulation (EU) No 1295/2013 (OJ ...).
(67)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file (2018/0190(COD)) and insert the number, date and OJ reference of that Regulation in the footnote.
(68) Regulation (EU) 2021/... of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... establishing a programme for the internal market, competitiveness of enterprises, including small and medium-sized enterprises, the area of plants, animals, food and feed, and European statistics (Single Market Programme) and repealing Regulations (EU) No 99/2013, (EU) No 1287/2013, (EU) No 254/2014 and (EU) No 652/2014 (OJ ...).
(69)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file (2018/0231(COD)) and insert the number, date and OJ reference of that Regulation in the footnote.
(70)++ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file (2018/0231(COD)).
(71)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(72)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(73)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD).
(74)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(75)++ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(76)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(77)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(78)++ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(79)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 8/2021 (2019/0151(COD)).
(80) CCSI relate to all sectors and industries whose activities are based on cultural values, cultural diversity and individual and/or collective artistic and other creative expressions, whether those activities are market or non-market oriented, whatever the type of structure that carries them out, and irrespective of how that structure is financed. Those activities include the development of skills and talent with the potential to generate innovation, the creation of wealth and jobs through the production of social and economic value, including from intellectual property management. Those activities relate also to the development, the production, the creation, the dissemination and the preservation of goods and services which embody cultural, artistic or other creative expressions, as well as related functions such as education and management. The cultural and creative sectors include, inter alia, architecture, archives, the arts, libraries and museums, artistic crafts, audiovisual (including film, television, software, video games, multimedia and recorded music), tangible and intangible cultural heritage, design, creativity-driven high-end industries and fashion, festivals, music, literature, performing arts (including theatre and dance), books and publishing (newspapers and magazines), radio and visual arts, and advertising.
(81)Cultural and creative studies in European universities are mostly focused on the “creative part” and their graduates are not always ready to enter the modern labour market as they lack cross-sectoral (entrepreneurial, digital and financial management) skills. With regard to HEIs, the Union is trailing behind the United States of America in communication and media studies (while Union universities are performing better in more traditional disciplines such as art and design or performing arts).
(82)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file ST 7064/20 (2018/0224(COD)).
(83) Impact assessment accompanying the communication of the Commission of 17 September 2020 on Stepping up Europe’s 2030 climate ambition. Investing in a climate-neutral future for the benefit of our people.
(84) Directive (EU) 2020/2184 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2020 on the quality of water intended for human consumption (OJ L 435, 23.12.2020, p. 1).
(85) Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive) (OJ L 164, 25.6.2008, p. 19).
(86) Directive 2014/89/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 establishing a framework for maritime spatial planning (OJ L 257, 28.8.2014, p. 135).
(87) Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the Common Fisheries Policy, amending Council Regulations (EC) No 1954/2003 and (EC) No 1224/2009 and repealing Council Regulations (EC) No 2371/2002 and (EC) No 639/2004 and Council Decision 2004/585/EC (OJ L 354, 28.12.2013, p. 22).


Union Civil Protection Mechanism ***I
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Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 27 April 2021 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Decision No 1313/2013/EU on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism (COM(2020)0220 – C9-0160/2020 – 2020/0097(COD))
P9_TA(2021)0128A9-0148/2020

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2020)0220),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Articles 196(2) and 322(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C9‑0160/2020),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs on the proposed legal basis,

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Court of Auditors of 28 September 2020(1),

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 29 October 2020(2),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 14 October 2020(3),

–  having regard to the provisional agreement approved by the committee responsible under Rule 74(4) of its Rules of Procedure and the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 17 February 2021 to approve Parliament’s position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Rules 59 and 40 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Budgets,

–  having regard to the letter from the Committee on Development,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A9-0148/2020),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out(4);

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it replaces, substantially amends or intends to substantially amend its proposal;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 27 April 2021 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2021/… of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Decision No 1313/2013/EU on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism

P9_TC1-COD(2020)0097


(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 196 and point (a) of Article 322(1) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(5),

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(6),

Having regard to the opinion of the Court of Auditors(7),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure(8),

Whereas:

(1)  The Union Civil Protection Mechanism (the ‘Union Mechanism’) governed by Decision No 1313/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council(9) strengthens cooperation between the Union and the Member States and facilitates coordination in the field of civil protection in order to improve the Union's response to natural and man-made disasters.

(2)  Whilst ▌the primary responsibility ▌for preventing, preparing for and responding to natural and man-made disasters lies with the Member States, the Union Mechanism, and in particular rescEU, promotes solidarity between Member States in accordance with Article 3(3) of the Treaty on European Union. The Union Mechanism does so by strengthening the Union’s collective response to natural and man-made disasters through the establishment of a reserve of capacities that complement the existing capacities of Member States, when capacities available at national level are not sufficient, thereby enabling more effective preparedness and response, and by enhancing disaster prevention and preparedness. Adequate financial appropriations are required in order to establish, deploy and operate rescEU capacities and to be able to further develop the European Civil Protection Pool and cover additional costs stemming from adaptation grants and the operation of capacities committed to the European Civil Protection Pool.

(3)  The unprecedented experience of the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that the Union and Member States need to be better prepared to respond to large-scale emergencies that impact several Member States simultaneously, and that the existing legal framework on health and civil protection should be reinforced. The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted how the consequences of disasters for human health, the environment, society and the economy can take on devastating proportions. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union was able, based on the existing provisions of Decision No 1313/2013/EU, to rapidly adopt implementing provisions to expand rescEU capacities to include stockpiling of medical countermeasures comprising vaccines and therapeutics, and of intensive care medical equipment, personal protective equipment and laboratory supplies, for the purpose of preparedness and response to a serious cross-border threat to health. In order to enhance effectiveness regarding preparedness and response actions, new provisions strengthening the current legal framework, including by enabling the Commission to directly procure, under specific conditions, the necessary rescEU capacities, could further reduce deployment time in the future. It is also important that the operations of rescEU be well coordinated with national civil protection authorities.

(4)  The Members of the European Council in their Joint Statement of 26 March 2020 and the European Parliament in its resolution of 17 April 2020 on EU coordinated action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences(10) invited the Commission to make proposals for a more ambitious and wide-ranging crisis management system within the Union.

(5)  Climate change is leading to an increase in the frequency, intensity and complexity of natural disasters within the Union and worldwide, and thus to a need for a high degree of solidarity among countries. Natural disasters, such as forest fires, can lead to loss of lives, livelihoods and biodiversity, cause the release of high amounts of carbon emissions, and cause a decrease in the carbon absorption capacity of the planet, which further exacerbates climate change. It is therefore essential that prevention of, preparedness for and response to disasters be strengthened and that the Union Mechanism comprise sufficient capacities, including during the rescEU transitional period, to act when forest fires and other climate-related natural disasters occur.

(6)  The Union remains committed to gender-sensitive civil protection, including addressing specific vulnerabilities, and exchange on best practices concerning gender-related issues that arise during disasters and their immediate aftermath, including the support provided to victims of gender-based violence.

(7)  On the basis of the principles of solidarity and universal coverage of quality health services and the central role of the Union in accelerating progress on global health challenges, the Union Mechanism should contribute to improving prevention, preparedness and response capacity also in respect of medical emergencies.

(8)  Member States are, in full respect of their national structures, encouraged to ensure that first responders are adequately equipped and prepared to respond to disasters.

(9)   To strengthen cooperation in responding to disasters, administrative processes should be streamlined where possible in order to ensure prompt intervention.

(10)  In order to be better prepared when confronted with disasters impacting multiple Member States in the future, urgent action is required to reinforce the Union Mechanism. The reinforcement of the Union Mechanism should complement Union policies and funds and should not be a substitute for the mainstreaming of disaster resilience into those policies and funds.

(11)  Data on losses caused by disasters are crucial for a robust assessment of risks, the development of evidence-based scenarios for potential disasters and the implementation of effective risk management measures. Therefore, Member States should continue to work on improving the collection of disaster loss data, in line with the commitments already undertaken under international agreements, such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the Paris Agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(11) and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

(12)  To improve resilience and planning for disaster prevention, preparedness and response, the Union should continue to advocate for investment in prevention of disasters across borders and sectors, and for comprehensive risk management approaches that underpin prevention and preparedness, taking into account a multi-hazard approach, an ecosystem-based approach and the likely impacts of climate change, in close cooperation with the relevant scientific communities, key economic operators, regional and local authorities and non-governmental organisations operating in the field, without prejudice to the established Union coordination mechanisms and competence of the Member States. To that effect, ▌the Commission should work together with Member States to define and develop Union disaster resilience goals in the area of civil protection, as a non-binding common baseline to support prevention and preparedness actions in the event of disasters with a high impact which cause or are capable of causing multi-country transboundary effects (i.e. effects on several countries, irrespective of whether they share a border or not). The Union disaster resilience goals should take into account the immediate social consequences of disasters and the need to ensure that critical societal functions are preserved.

(13)  Regular risk assessments and analyses of disaster scenarios at national and, where appropriate, subnational level, are crucial to detecting gaps in prevention and preparedness and reinforcing resilience, including by using Union funds. Such risk assessments and analyses of disaster scenarios should focus on risks that are specific to the region concerned and should, where relevant, cover cross-border cooperation.

(14)  In developing Union disaster resilience goals to support prevention and preparedness actions, particular attention should be given to the consequences of disasters for vulnerable groups.

(15)  The role of regional and local authorities in disaster prevention and management is of great importance, and, where appropriate, their capacities are included in the activities carried out under Decision No 1313/2013/EU, with a view to minimising overlaps and fostering interoperability.There is therefore also a need for on-going cooperation at local and regional levels across borders, with a view to developing common alert systems for rapid intervention prior to the activation of the Union Mechanism. Similarly, and having regard to national structures, it is important to acknowledge the need to provide technical training assistance to local communities to enhance their first response capacities where appropriate. It is also important to keep the public informed on initial response measures.

(16)  The Union Mechanism should continue to exploit synergies with the ▌ Union framework on the resilience of critical entities.

(17)  As an operational centre at Union level that functions 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with capacity to follow and support operations in various types of emergencies, within and outside the Union, in real-time, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) should be further strengthened. This should include enhanced coordination of the ERCC with Member States’ national ▌civil protection authorities, as well as with other relevant Union bodies. The work of the ERCC is supported by scientific expertise, including that provided by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.

(18)  The Union Mechanism should make use of Union space infrastructure such as the European Earth Observation Programme (Copernicus), Galileo, Space Situational Awareness and GOVSATCOM, which provide important Union-level tools to respond to internal and external emergencies. Copernicus Emergency Management Systems provide support to the ERCC in the various emergency phases from early warning and prevention to disaster response and recovery. GOVSATCOM serves to provide secure satellite communication capability specifically tailored to the needs of governmental users in emergency management. Galileo is the first global satellite navigation and positioning infrastructure specifically designed for civilian purposes in Europe and worldwide, and can be used in other areas such as emergency management, including early warning activities. Galileo's relevant services include an emergency service which broadcasts, through emitting signals, warnings regarding natural or man-made disasters ▌in particular areas. Given its potential for saving lives and facilitating the coordination of emergency actions, Member States should be encouraged to use Galileo. Where they decide to use it, in order to validate the system, Member States should identify the national authorities that are competent to use Galileo and notify the Commission of those authorities.

(19)  During the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of sufficient transport and logistical resources was identified as a key obstacle as regards the Member States being able to provide or receive assistance. Therefore, transport and logistical resources should be defined as rescEU capacities. In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of Decision No 1313/2013/EU, implementing powers should be conferred on the Commission to allow it to define transport and logistical resources as rescEU capacities and to allow it to rent, lease or otherwise contract such capacities to the extent necessary to address the gaps in the areas of transport and logistics. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council(12). Furthermore, in order to have the operational capacity to respond swiftly to a large-scale disaster which causes or is capable of causing multi-country transboundary effects or to a low probability event with a high impact ▌, the Union should also have, in duly justified cases of urgency and in consultation with the Member States, through the adoption of immediately applicable implementing acts pursuant to the urgency procedure, the possibility of acquiring, renting, leasing or otherwise contracting material means and necessary enabling support services defined as rescEU capacities, where those means and services cannot be made immediately available by Member States. This would allow the Union to react without delay to ▌emergencies which might have a high impact on lives, health, the environment, property, or cultural heritage, and which affect multiple Member States at the same time. Such material means exclude modules, teams and categories of experts and are meant to assist Member States overwhelmed by disasters.

(20)  In order to make the best use of the experience gained so far with trusted logistical networks managed by relevant international organisations inside the Union, such as the UN Humanitarian Response Depots, the Commission should consider such networks when acquiring, renting, leasing or otherwise contracting rescEU capacities. Relevant Union agencies should be appropriately involved and consulted in matters related to the Union Mechanism that fall under their remit. It is particularly important that the European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control be consulted where appropriate as regards the definition, management and distribution of capacities dedicated to responding to medical emergencies.

(21)  It should be possible to use for national purposes rescEU capacities acquired, rented, leased or otherwise contracted by Member States, but only when not used or needed for response operations under the Union Mechanism.

(22)  The Union has an interest in responding to emergencies in third countries, where needed. Whilst primarily established for use as a safety net within the Union, in duly justified cases and taking into account humanitarian principles, it should be possible to deploy rescEU capacities outside the Union. The deployment decision should be made in accordance with the existing provisions on the deployment decisions of rescEU capacities.

(23)  The Union Mechanism should ensure that there is an adequate geographical distribution of reserves, including as regards essential medical countermeasures and personal protective equipment, in particular those that respond to low probability disasters with a high impact, in synergy with, and in a manner that complements, the EU4Health Programme established under Regulation (EU) 2021/... of the European Parliament and of the Council(13)(14), the Emergency Support Instrument established under Council Regulation (EU) 2016/369(15), the Recovery and Resilience Facility established under Regulation (EU) 2021/241 of the European Parliament and of the Council(16) and other Union policies, programmes and funds, and complementing national stockpiling at Union level where needed.

(24)  The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the key importance of systematically bringing together and sharing relevant knowledge across all phases of the disaster risk management cycle. That finding and the experience gained so far in the process of developing the Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network indicate that its role as a processing unit within the Union Mechanism should be further refined.

(25)  Obtaining the necessary transport and logistical resources is essential to allow the Union to respond to any kind of emergency situation within and outside the Union. It is imperative to ▌ensure timely transport and delivery of assistance and aid within the Union, but also to outside the Union and from outside the Union. Therefore, the affected countries should be able to request assistance consisting only of transport and logistical resources.

(26)  Decision No 1313/2013/EU sets out a financial envelope for the Union Mechanism that constitutes the prime reference amount within the meaning of point 17 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(17) intended to cover programme expenditure until the end of the 2014-2020 budgetary period. That financial envelope should be updated as from 1 January 2021, the date of application of Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2020/2093(18), to reflect the new figures provided in that Regulation.

(27)  In accordance with Council Regulation (EU) 2020/2094(19) establishing a European Union Recovery Instrument and within the limits of the resources allocated therein, recovery and resilience measures under the Union Mechanism should be carried out to address the unprecedented impact of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Such measures should, in particular, include measures to increase the level of the Union’s preparedness and enable a quick and effective Union response in the event of major emergencies, including measures such as stockpiling of essential supplies and medical equipment and acquisition of the necessary infrastructure for rapid response. Such additional resources should be used in such a way as to ensure compliance with the time limits provided for in Regulation (EU) 2020/2094.

(28)  Reflecting the importance of tackling climate change in line with the Union’s commitments to implement the Paris Agreement, and the commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the actions under Decision No 1313/2013/EU should contribute to the achievement of an overall target of at least 30 % of the total amount of the Union budget and the European Union Recovery Instrument expenditures supporting climate objectives and the ambition of 7,5 % of the budget reflecting biodiversity expenditure in 2024 and 10 % in 2026 and 2027 while considering the existing overlaps between climate and biodiversity goals.

(29)  Given that the deployment of rescEU capacities for response operations under the Union Mechanism provides significant Union added value by ensuring an effective and fast response to people in emergencies, further visibility obligations should be laid down in order to provide information to Union citizens and the media and also to provide prominence to the Union. National authorities should receive communication guidance from the Commission for specific interventions to ensure that the Union's role is appropriately publicised.

(30)  Taking into account recent operational experience, in order to further strengthen the Union Mechanism and in particular to simplify the process of rapid rescEU implementation, development costs of all rescEU capacities should be fully financed from the Union budget.

(31)  In order to support Member States to also deliver assistance outside the Union, the European Civil Protection Pool should be further reinforced by co-financing the operational costs of the committed capacities at the same level, irrespective of whether they are deployed inside or outside the Union.

(32)   In order to ensure flexibility in supporting Member States with transport and logistical resources, in particular in large scale disasters, it should be possible to fully finance from the Union budget the transport within the Union or to the Union from third countries of cargo, logistical means and services deployed as rescEU capacities.

(33)  The Union Mechanism should also provide transport assistance needed in environmental disasters through the application of the “polluter pays” principle, under the responsibility of the competent national authorities, in accordance with Article 191(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), and in line with Directive 2004/35/CE of the European Parliament and of the Council(20).

(34)  In order to increase flexibility as well as to achieve optimal budget implementation, this Regulation should provide for indirect management ▌ as a method of budget implementation, to be used where justified by the nature and content of the action concerned.

(35)  In accordance with Article 193(2) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council(21) (the ‘Financial Regulation’), a grant may be awarded for an action which has already begun, provided that the applicant can demonstrate the need for starting the action prior to signature of the grant agreement. However, the costs incurred prior to the date of submission of the grant application are not eligible, except in duly justified exceptional cases. In order to avoid any disruption in Union support which could be prejudicial to Union interests, it should be possible to provide in the financing decision, for a limited period of time at the beginning of the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027, and only in duly justified cases, that costs incurred in respect of actions supported under Decision No 1313/2013/EU which have already begun be considered eligible as of 1 January 2021, even if they were incurred before the grant application was submitted.

(36)  In order to promote predictability and long-term effectiveness when implementing Decision No 1313/2013/EU, the Commission should adopt annual or multi-annual work programmes indicating the planned allocations. This should help the Union to have more flexibility in budgetary execution and thereby enhance prevention and preparedness actions. In addition, the projected future allocations should be presented and discussed on a yearly basis in the committee assisting the Commission in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

(37)  The Commission reports on the implementation of the budget of the Union Mechanism in accordance with the Financial Regulation.

(38)  Horizontal financial rules adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on the basis of Article 322 TFEU apply to Decision No 1313/2013/EU. Those rules are laid down in the Financial Regulation and determine in particular the procedure for establishing and implementing the budget through grants, procurement, prizes and indirect implementation, and provide for checks on the responsibility of financial actors. Rules adopted on the basis of Article 322 TFEU also include a general regime of conditionality for the protection of the Union budget.

(39)  While prevention and preparedness measures are essential to enhance the resilience of the Union in facing natural and man-made disasters, the occurrence, timing and magnitude of disasters are by nature unpredictable. As shown in the recent COVID-19 crisis, financial resources required to ensure an adequate response can vary significantly from year to year and should be made available immediately. Reconciling the budgetary principle of predictability with the necessity to react rapidly to new needs therefore means having to adapt the financial implementation of the work programmes. Consequently, it is appropriate to authorise carry-over of unused appropriations, limited to the following year and solely devoted to response actions, in addition to the carry-over of appropriations authorised under Article 12(4) of the Financial Regulation.

(40)  In accordance with ▌the Financial Regulation, Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council(22) and Council Regulations (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95(23), (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96(24) and (EU) 2017/1939(25), the financial interests of the Union are to be protected by means of proportionate measures, including measures relating to the prevention, detection, correction and investigation of irregularities, including fraud, to the recovery of funds lost, wrongly paid or incorrectly used, and, where appropriate, to the imposition of administrative penalties. In particular, in accordance with Regulations (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 and (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has the power to carry out administrative investigations, including on-the-spot checks and inspections, with a view to establishing whether there has been fraud, corruption or any other illegal activity affecting the financial interests of the Union. The European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) is empowered, in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2017/1939, to investigate and prosecute criminal offences affecting the financial interests of the Union as provided for in Directive (EU) 2017/1371 of the European Parliament and of the Council(26). In accordance with the Financial Regulation, any person or entity receiving Union funds is to fully cooperate in the protection of the financial interests of the Union, grant the necessary rights and access to the Commission, OLAF, the Court of Auditors and, in respect of those Member States participating in enhanced cooperation pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2017/1939, the EPPO, and ▌ensure that any third parties involved in the implementation of Union funds grant equivalent rights. For that reason, agreements with third countries and territories and with international organisations, and any contract or agreement resulting from the implementation of Decision No 1313/2013/EU, should contain provisions expressly empowering the Commission, the Court of Auditors, the EPPO and OLAF to conduct such audits, on-the-spot checks and inspections, in accordance with their respective competences and ensuring that any third parties involved in the implementation of Union funding grant equivalent rights.

(41)  Third countries which are members of the European Economic Area (EEA) may participate in Union programmes in the framework of the cooperation established under the Agreement on the European Economic Area(27), which provides for the implementation of the programmes on the basis of a decision adopted under that Agreement. Third countries may also participate on the basis of other legal instruments. A specific provision should be introduced in Decision No 1313/2013/EU requiring third countries to grant the necessary rights ▌ and access required for the authorising officer responsible, OLAF ▌and the Court of Auditors to comprehensively exercise their respective competences.

(42)  During the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to have functioning rescEU capacities and for the Union Mechanism to effectively respond to the needs of Union citizens, additional financial appropriations have been made available to finance actions under the Union Mechanism. It is important to give the Union the necessary flexibility to be able to react effectively to the unpredictable nature of disasters, while at the same time maintaining a certain predictability in the fulfilment of the objectives set out in Decision No 1313/2013/EU. It is important to achieve the necessary balance in the fulfilment of those objectives. In order to update the percentages set out in Annex I according to the priorities of the Union Mechanism, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 TFEU should be delegated to the Commission. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level, and that those consultations be conducted in accordance with the principles laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making(28). In particular, to ensure equal participation in the preparation of delegated acts, the European Parliament and the Council receive all documents at the same time as Member States' experts, and their experts systematically have access to meetings of Commission expert groups dealing with the preparation of delegated acts.

(43)  Decision No 1313/2013/EU should therefore be amended accordingly.

(44)  In order to ensure continuity in providing support in the relevant policy area and to allow implementation to start from the beginning of the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027, this Regulation should enter into force as a matter of urgency and should apply, with retroactive effect, from 1 January 2021,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

Decision No 1313/2013/EU is amended as follows:

(1)  in Article 1, paragraphs 2 and 3 are replaced by the following:"

‘2. The protection to be ensured by the Union Mechanism shall cover primarily people, but also the environment and property, including cultural heritage, against all kinds of natural and man-made disasters, including the consequences of acts of terrorism, technological, radiological or environmental disasters, marine pollution, hydrogeological instability and acute health emergencies, occurring inside or outside the Union. In the case of the consequences of acts of terrorism or radiological disasters, the Union Mechanism may cover only preparedness and response actions.

3.  The Union Mechanism shall promote solidarity between the Member States through practical cooperation and coordination, without prejudice to the Member States' primary responsibility to protect people, the environment and property, including cultural heritage, on their territory against disasters and to provide their disaster-management systems with sufficient capabilities to enable them to prevent, and cope adequately and in a consistent manner with, disasters of a nature and magnitude that can reasonably be expected and prepared for.’;

"

(2)  Article 3 is amended as follows:

(a)  in paragraph 1, point (c) is replaced by the following:"

‘(c) to facilitate rapid and efficient response in the event of disasters or imminent disasters, including by taking measures to mitigate the immediate consequences of disasters and encouraging Member States to work towards removing bureaucratic obstacles;';

"

(b)  in paragraph 2, point (b) is replaced by the following:"

‘(b) progress in increasing the level of readiness for disasters: measured by the quantity of response capacities included in the European Civil Protection Pool in relation to the capacity goals referred to in Article 11, the number of modules registered in the Common Emergency Communication and Information System (CECIS) and the number of rescEU capacities established to provide assistance in overwhelming situations;’;

"

(3)  in Article 4, the following point is inserted:"

‘4a. ‘Union disaster resilience goals’ means non-binding objectives established in the area of civil protection to support prevention and preparedness actions for the purposes of improving the capacity of the Union and its Member States to withstand the effects of a disaster which causes or is capable of causing multi-country transboundary effects;’;

"

(4)  in Article 5, paragraph 1 is amended as follows:

(a)  point (c) is replaced by the following:"

‘(c) establish and regularly update a cross-sectoral overview and map of natural and man-made disaster risks, including risks of disasters which cause or are capable of causing multi-country transboundary effects, the Union may face, by taking a coherent approach across different policy areas that may address or affect disaster prevention and taking due account of the likely impacts of climate change;’;

"

(b)  point (g) is replaced by the following:"

‘(g) report periodically, in accordance with the deadlines set out in point (d) of Article 6(1), to the European Parliament and to the Council on the progress made in the implementation of Article 6;’;

"

(5)  Article 6 is amended as follows:

(a)  paragraph 1 is amended as follows:

(i)  point (c) is replaced by the following:"

‘(c) further develop and refine disaster risk management planning at national or the appropriate subnational level, including as regards cross-border collaboration, taking into account the Union disaster resilience goals referred to in paragraph 5, when established, and the risks related to disasters which cause or are capable of causing multi-country transboundary effects;’;

"

(ii)  points (d) and (e) are replaced by the following:"

‘(d) make available to the Commission a summary of the relevant elements of the assessments referred to in points (a) and (b), focusing on key risks. For key risks having cross-border impacts and risks related to disasters which cause or are capable of causing multi-country transboundary effects, as well as, where appropriate, for low probability risks with a high impact, Member States shall describe priority prevention and preparedness measures. The summary shall be provided to the Commission by 31 December 2020 and every three years thereafter, as well as whenever there are important changes;

   (e) participate, on a voluntary basis, in peer reviews on the assessment of risk management capability;
   (f) in line with international commitments, improve the collection of disaster loss data at national or the appropriate sub-national level to ensure evidence-based scenario building as referred to in Article 10(1) and the identification of gaps in disaster response capacities.’;

"

(b)  the following paragraph is added:"

‘5. The Commission, in cooperation with Member States, shall establish and develop Union disaster resilience goals in the area of civil protection, and adopt recommendations to define them as a non-binding common baseline to support prevention and preparedness actions in the event of disasters which cause or are capable of causing multi-country transboundary effects. Those goals shall be based on current and forward-looking scenarios, including the impacts of climate change on disaster risks, data on past events and cross-sectoral impact analysis, with particular attention given to vulnerable groups. When developing Union disaster resilience goals, the Commission shall take into account recurrent disasters that hit Member States and suggest that Member States take specific measures, including any measures to be implemented with the use of Union funds, to strengthen resilience to such disasters.’;

"

(6)  Articles 7 and 8 are replaced by the following:"

‘Article 7

Emergency Response Coordination Centre

1.  An Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) is hereby established. The ERCC shall ensure 24/7 operational capacity, and serve the Member States and the Commission in pursuit of the objectives of the Union Mechanism.

The ERCC shall in particular coordinate, monitor and support in real-time the response to emergencies at Union level. The ERCC shall work in close contact with national ▌civil protection authorities and relevant Union bodies to promote a cross-sectoral approach to disaster management.

2.  The ERCC shall have access to operational, analytical, monitoring, information management and communication capabilities to address a broad range of emergencies within and outside the Union.

Article 8

General preparedness actions of the Commission

1.  The Commission shall carry out the following preparedness actions:

   (a) manage the ERCC;
   (b) manage CECIS to enable communication and sharing of information between the ERCC and the Member States' contact points;

▌(c) work with Member States:

   (i) to develop transnational detection and early warning systems of Union interest in order to mitigate the immediate effects of disasters;
   (ii) to better integrate existing transnational detection and early warning systems based on a multi-hazard approach, with a view to minimising the lead time to respond to disasters;
   (iii) to maintain and further develop situational awareness and analysis capability;
   (iv) to monitor disasters and, where relevant, climate change impacts, and provide advice based on scientific knowledge thereof;
   (v) to translate scientific information into operational information;
   (vi) to create, maintain and develop European scientific partnerships to cover natural and man-made hazards, which in turn should promote the linkage between national early warning and alert systems and the linkage of such systems with the ERCC and CECIS;
   (vii) to support the efforts of Member States and mandated international organisations with scientific knowledge, innovative technologies and expertise when Member States and such organisations further develop their early warning systems, including through the Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network referred to in Article 13;
   (d) establish and manage the capability to mobilise and dispatch expert teams, responsible for:
   (i) assessing the needs that can possibly be addressed under the Union Mechanism in the Member State or third country requesting assistance,
   (ii) facilitating, where necessary, the coordination of disaster response assistance on site and liaising with the competent authorities of the Member State or third country requesting assistance, and
   (iii) supporting the Member State or third country requesting assistance with expertise on prevention, preparedness or response actions;
   (e) establish and maintain the capability to provide logistical support to the expert teams referred to in point (d);
   (f) develop and maintain a network of trained experts of the Member States, who can be available at short notice to assist the ERCC in the monitoring of information and facilitating coordination;
   (g) facilitate the coordination of the Member States' pre-positioning of disaster response capacities inside the Union;
   (h) support efforts to improve the interoperability of modules and other response capacities, taking into account best practices at the level of the Member States and at international level;
   (i) take, within its sphere of competence, the necessary actions to facilitate host nation support, including developing and updating, together with Member States, guidelines on host nation support, on the basis of operational experience;
   (j) support the creation of voluntary peer review assessment programmes for the Member States' preparedness strategies, based on pre-defined criteria, which will enable recommendations to be formulated to strengthen the level of preparedness of the Union;
   (k) in close consultation with the Member States, take additional necessary supporting and complementary preparedness action to achieve the objective specified in point (b) of Article 3(1); and
   (l) support Member States, upon their request, in respect of disasters happening within their territories by providing the possibility of using European scientific partnerships for targeted scientific analysis. The resulting analyses may be shared via CECIS, with the agreement of the affected Member States.

2.  At the request of a Member State, a third country or the United Nations or its agencies, the Commission may deploy an expert team on site to provide advice on preparedness measures.';

"

(7)  in Article 9, the following paragraph is added:"

‘10. When emergency services are provided by Galileo, Copernicus, GovSatCom, or other components of the Space Programme established by Regulation (EU) 2021/... of the European Parliament and of the Council*(29), each Member State may decide to use them.

Where a Member State decides to use the emergency services provided by Galileo referred to in the first subparagraph, it shall identify and notify to the Commission the national authorities authorised to use those emergency services.

_____________________

* Regulation (EU) 2021/… of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... establishing the Union Space Programme and the European Union Agency for the Space Programme and repealing Regulations (EU) No 912/2010, (EU) No 1285/2013 and (EU) No 377/2014 and Decision No 541/2014/EU (OJ L ...).’;

"

(8)  Article 10 is replaced by the following:"

Article 10

Scenario-building and disaster management planning

‘1. The Commission and the Member States shall work together to improve cross-sectoral disaster risk management planning at Union level, both for natural and man-made disasters which cause or are capable of causing multi-country transboundary effects, including the adverse effects of climate change. That ▌planning shall include scenario-building at Union level for disaster prevention, preparedness and response, taking into account the work carried out in relation to the Union disaster resilience goals as referred to in Article 6(5) and the work by the Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network as referred to in Article 13, and based on:

   (i) the risk assessments referred to in point (a) of Article 6(1),
   (ii) the overview of risks referred to in point (c) of Article 5(1),
   (iii) Member States' assessment of risk management capability referred to in point (b) of Article 6(1),
   (iv) available disaster loss data referred to in point (f) of Article 6(1),
   (v) the voluntary exchange of existing information on disaster risk management planning at national or the appropriate sub-national level,
   (vi) asset mapping, and
   (vii) the development of plans for the deployment of response capacities ▌.

2.  The Commission and the Member States shall identify and promote synergies between civil protection assistance and humanitarian aid funding provided by the Union and Member States in the planning of response operations for humanitarian crises outside the Union.’;

"

(9)  in Article 11, paragraph 2 is replaced by the following:"

‘2. On the basis of identified risks, overall capacities and gaps and any existing scenario-building as referred to in Article 10(1), ▌the Commission shall ▌, by means of implementing acts, define the types and specify the number of key response capacities required for the European Civil Protection Pool (‘capacity goals’). Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 33(2).

The Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, shall monitor progress towards the capacity goals set out in the implementing acts referred to in the first subparagraph of this paragraph, and identify potentially significant response capacity gaps in the European Civil Protection Pool. Where such gaps have been identified, the Commission shall examine whether the necessary capacities are available to the Member States outside the European Civil Protection Pool. The Commission shall encourage Member States to address significant response capacity gaps in the European Civil Protection Pool. It may support Member States in this regard in accordance with Article 20 and point (i) of Article 21(1) and Article 21(2).’;

"

(10)  in Article 12, ▌paragraphs 2 and 3 are replaced by the following:"

‘2. The Commission shall ▌, by means of implementing acts, define the capacities rescEU shall consist of, based inter alia on any existing scenario-building as referred to in Article 10(1), taking into account identified and emerging risks and overall capacities and gaps at Union level, in particular in the areas of aerial forest-firefighting, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents, ▌emergency medical response, as well as transport and logistics. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 33(2). The Commission shall regularly update the information on the type and number of rescEU capacities and make that information directly available to the European Parliament and the Council .

3.  rescEU capacities shall be acquired, rented, leased ▌or otherwise contracted by ▌Member States.

3a.   rescEU capacities, as defined by means of implementing acts adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 33(2), may be rented, leased or otherwise contracted by the Commission to the extent necessary to address the gaps in the area of transport and logistics.

3b.  In duly justified cases of urgency, the Commission may acquire, rent, lease or otherwise contract capacities determined by means of implementing acts adopted in accordance with the urgency procedure referred to in Article 33(3). Such implementing acts shall:

   (i) determine the necessary type and quantity of material means and any necessary enabling support services, already defined as rescEU capacities; and/or
   (ii) define additional material means and any necessary enabling support services as rescEU capacities and determine the necessary type and quantity of those capacities.

3c.  Union financial rules shall apply where rescEU capacities are acquired, rented, leased or otherwise contracted by the Commission. Where rescEU capacities are acquired, rented, leased or otherwise contracted by Member States, direct grants may be awarded by the Commission to Member States without a call for proposals. The Commission and any Member States which so desire may engage in a joint procurement procedure conducted pursuant to Article 165 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council* (the ‘Financial Regulation’) with a view to acquiring rescEU capacities.

rescEU capacities shall be hosted by the Member States that acquire, rent, lease or otherwise contract those capacities. ▌

________________

* Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014, and Decision No 541/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 (OJ L 193, 30.7.2018, p. 1). ’;

"

(11)  Article 13 is replaced by the following:"

'Article 13

Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network

1.  The Commission shall establish a Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network (the 'Network') to aggregate, process and disseminate knowledge and information relevant to the Union Mechanism, based on a multi-hazard approach and including relevant civil protection and disaster management actors, centres of excellence, universities and researchers.

The Commission, through the Network, shall take due account of the expertise available in the Member States, at Union level, at the level of other international organisations and entities, at the level of third countries and at the level of organisations active on the ground.

The Commission and the Member States shall promote gender-balanced participation in the establishment and the functioning of the Network.

The Commission, through the Network, shall support coherence of planning and decision-making processes by facilitating the continuous exchange of knowledge and information involving all areas of activity under the Union Mechanism.

To that end, the Commission, through the Network, shall inter alia:

   (a) set up and manage a training and exercises programme for civil protection and disaster management personnel on prevention of, preparedness for and response to disasters. The programme shall focus on and encourage the exchange of best practices in the field of civil protection and disaster management, including in relation to disasters originating from climate change, and include joint courses and a system for the exchange of expertise in the area of disaster management, including exchanges of professionals and experienced volunteers, and the secondment of Member State experts.

The training and exercises programme shall aim to enhance the coordination, compatibility and complementarity of capacities referred to in Articles 9, 11 and 12, and to improve the competence of experts as referred to in points (d) and (f) of Article 8(1);

   (b) set up and manage a programme of lessons learnt from civil protection actions conducted within the framework of the Union Mechanism, including aspects from the entire disaster management cycle, in order to provide a broad basis for learning processes and knowledge development. The programme shall include:
   (i) monitoring, analysing and evaluating all the relevant civil protection actions within the Union Mechanism;
   (ii) promoting implementation of lessons learnt in order to obtain an experience-based foundation for the development of activities within the disaster management cycle; and
   (iii) developing methods and tools for gathering, analysing, promoting and implementing lessons learnt.

That programme shall also include, where appropriate, lessons learnt from interventions outside the Union with regard to exploiting links and synergies between assistance provided under the Union Mechanism and humanitarian response;

   (c) stimulate research and innovation, and encourage the introduction and use of relevant new approaches or technologies or both for the purpose of the Union Mechanism;
   (d) set up and maintain an online platform serving the Network to support and facilitate the implementation of the different tasks referred to in points (a), (b) and (c).

2.  When carrying out the tasks set out in paragraph 1, the Commission shall take particular account of the needs and interests of Member States facing disaster risks of a similar nature, as well as of the need to strengthen the protection of biodiversity and cultural heritage.

3.  The Commission shall strengthen cooperation on training, and promote the sharing of knowledge and experience, between the Network and international organisations and third countries, in particular in order to contribute to meeting international commitments, particularly those in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.’;

"

(12)  in Article 14 (1), the first subparagraph is replaced by the following:"

"1. In the event of a disaster within the Union, or of an imminent disaster, which causes or is capable of causing multi-country transboundary effects or affects or is capable of affecting other Member States, the Member State in which the disaster occurs or is likely to occur shall, without delay, notify the potentially affected Member States and, where the effects are potentially significant, the Commission.”;

"

(13)  in Article 15(3), point (b) is replaced by the following:"

‘(b) collect and analyse validated information on the situation, in conjunction with the affected Member State, with the goal of generating common awareness of the situation and the response to the situation, and disseminate that information directly to the Member States;’;

"

(14)  in Article 17, paragraphs 1 and 2 are replaced by the following:"

‘1. The Commission may select, appoint and dispatch an expert team composed of experts provided by Member States:

   (a) upon request for prevention expertise in accordance with Article 5(2);
   (b) upon request for preparedness expertise in accordance with Article 8(2);
   (c) in the event of a disaster within the Union as referred to in Article 15(5);
   (d) in the event of a disaster outside the Union as referred to in Article 16(3).

Experts from the Commission and from other services of the Union may be integrated in the team in order to support the team and facilitate liaison with the ERCC. Experts dispatched by UN agencies or other international organisations may be integrated in the team in order to strengthen cooperation and facilitate joint assessments.

Where operational effectiveness so requires, the Commission, in close cooperation with Member States, may facilitate the involvement of additional experts, through their deployment, and technical and scientific support, and reach back to specialist scientific, emergency medical and sectoral expertise.

2.  The procedure for the selection and appointment of experts shall be the following:

   (a) Member States shall nominate experts, under their responsibility, who can be deployed as members of expert teams;
   (b) the Commission shall select the experts and the leader for those teams on the basis of their qualifications and experience, including the level of the Union Mechanism training undertaken, previous experience of missions under the Union Mechanism and other international relief work; the selection shall also be based on other criteria, including language skills, to ensure that the team as a whole has the skills needed in the specific situation;
   (c) the Commission shall appoint experts and team leaders for the mission in agreement with their nominating Member State.

The Commission shall notify Member States of additional expert support provided in accordance with paragraph 1.’;

"

(15)  Article 18 is replaced by the following:"

‘Article 18

Transport and equipment

1.  In the event of a disaster, either within or outside the Union, the Commission may support Member States in obtaining access to equipment or transport and logistical resources by:

   (a) providing and sharing information on equipment and on transport and logistical resources that can be made available by Member States, with a view to facilitating the pooling of such equipment or transport and logistical resources;
   (b) developing cartographical material for the swift deployment and mobilisation of resources, bearing in mind especially the particularities of cross-border regions for the purpose of multi-country transboundary risks;
   (c) assisting Member States to identify transport and logistical resources that may be available from other sources, including the commercial market, and facilitating their access to such resources; or
   (d) assisting Member States to identify equipment that may be available from other sources, including the commercial market.

2.  The Commission may complement the transport and logistical resources provided by Member States by providing additional resources necessary for ensuring a rapid response to disasters.

3.  The assistance requested by a Member State or a third country may consist only of transport and logistical resources in order to respond to disasters with relief items or equipment procured in a third country by the requesting Member State or third country.’;

"

(16)  Article 19 is amended as follows:

(a)  the following paragraph is inserted:"

‘1a. The financial envelope for the implementation of the Union Mechanism for the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2027 shall be EUR 1 263 000 000 in current prices.’;

"

(b)  paragraph 2 is replaced by the following:"

‘2. Appropriations resulting from reimbursement made by the beneficiaries for disaster response actions shall constitute assigned revenue within the meaning of Article 21(5) of the Financial Regulation.’;

"

(c)  paragraph 3 is replaced by the following "

‘3. The financial allocation referred to in paragraphs 1 and 1a of this Article and in Article 19a may also cover expenses pertaining to preparatory, monitoring, control, audit and evaluation activities, which are required for the management of the Union Mechanism and the achievement of its objectives.

Such expenditure may, in particular, cover studies, meetings of experts, information and communication actions, including corporate communication of the political priorities of the Union, as far as they are related to the general objectives of the Union Mechanism, expenses linked to IT networks focusing on information processing and exchange, including their interconnection with existing or future systems designed to promote cross-sectoral data exchange and related equipment, together with all other technical and administrative assistance expenses incurred by the Commission for the management of the programme.’;

"

(d)  paragraph 4 is replaced by the following:"

‘4. The financial envelope referred to in paragraph 1a of this Article and the amount referred to in Article 19a(1) shall be allocated, over the period 2021-2027, according to the percentages and principles set out in Annex I.’;

"

(e)  paragraph 5 is replaced by the following:"

‘5. The Commission shall assess the breakdown set out in Annex I in the light of the outcome of the evaluation referred to in Article 34(3).’;

"

(f)  paragraph 6 is replaced by the following: "

‘6. Where necessary for disaster response on imperative grounds of urgency, or in the light of unexpected events affecting the budgetary execution or the establishment of rescEU capacities, the Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 30 in order to amend Annex I within the available budgetary allocations and in accordance with the procedure provided for in Article 31.’;

"

(17)  The following Article is inserted:"

‘Article 19a

Resources from the European Union Recovery Instrument

1.  Measures referred to in points (d) and (e) of Article 1(2) of Council Regulation (EU) 2020/2094* shall be implemented under this Decision through the expenditure of an amount of up to EUR 2 056 480 000 in current prices as referred to in point (a)(iii) of Article 2(2) of that Regulation in 2018 prices, subject to Article 3(3), (4), (7) and (9) of that Regulation.

2.   The amount referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall constitute external assigned revenue as set out in Article 3(1) of Regulation (EU) 2020/2094.

3.  Measures referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall be eligible for financial assistance in accordance with conditions set out in this Decision and shall be implemented in full respect of the objectives of Regulation (EU) 2020/2094.

4.  Without prejudice to conditions of eligibility of actions in favour of third countries set out in this Decision, the financial assistance referred to in this Article may be granted to a third country only where that assistance is implemented in full respect of the objectives of Regulation (EU) 2020/2094, regardless of whether or not that third country participates in the Union Mechanism .

_________________

* Council Regulation (EU) 2020/2094 of 14 December 2020 establishing a European Union Recovery Instrument to support the recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis (OJ L 433I, 22.12.2020, p. 23).’;

"

(18)  Article 20a is replaced by the following:"

‘Article 20a

Visibility and awards

1.  The recipients of Union funding, as well as the beneficiaries of the assistance delivered, shall acknowledge the origin of those funds and ensure the visibility of the Union funding, in particular when promoting the actions and their results, by providing coherent, effective and proportionate targeted information to multiple audiences, including the media and the public.

Any funding or assistance provided under this Decision shall be given appropriate visibility in line with the specific guidance issued by the Commission for specific interventions. In particular, Member States shall ensure that public communication for operations funded under the Union Mechanism:

   (a) includes appropriate references to the Union Mechanism;
   (b) provides visual branding on the capacities funded or co-funded by the Union Mechanism;
   (c) delivers actions with the Union emblem;
   (d) proactively communicates details of the Union support to national media and stakeholders, as well as through their own communication channels; and
   (e) supports the Commission’s communication actions on the operations.

Where rescEU capacities are used for national purposes as referred to in Article 12(5), Member States shall, by the same means as referred to in the first subparagraph of this paragraph, acknowledge the origin of those capacities and ensure the visibility of the Union funding used to acquire those capacities.

2.  The Commission shall implement information and communication actions relating to this Decision, to actions taken pursuant to this Decision and to the results obtained, and support Member States in their communication actions. Financial resources allocated to this Decision shall also contribute to the corporate communication of the political priorities of the Union, insofar as those priorities are related to the objectives referred to in Article 3(1).

3.  The Commission shall award medals in order to recognise and honour longstanding commitment and extraordinary contributions to the Union Mechanism.’;

"

(19)  Article 21 is amended as follows:

(a)  in paragraph 1, point (g) is replaced by the following:"

‘(g) developing disaster risk management planning , as referred to in Article 10.’;

"

(b)  paragraph 3 is replaced by the following:"

‘3. The financial assistance for the action referred to in point (j) of paragraph 1 shall cover all costs necessary to ensure the availability and deployability of rescEU capacities under the Union Mechanism in accordance with the second subparagraph of this paragraph. The categories of eligible costs necessary to ensure the availability and deployability of rescEU capacities shall be as set out in Annex Ia.

The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 30 to amend Annex Ia regarding the categories of eligible costs.

3a.  The financial assistance referred to in this Article may be implemented by multi-annual work programmes. For actions extending beyond one year, budgetary commitments may be broken down into annual instalments.’;

"

(c)  paragraph 4 is deleted;

(20)  in Article 22, point (b) is replaced by the following:"

‘(b) in the event of a disaster, supporting Member States in obtaining access to equipment and transport and logistical resources as specified in Article 23; and’;

"

(21)  Article 23 is replaced by the following:"

‘Article 23

Eligible actions linked to equipment and operations

1.  The following actions shall be eligible for financial assistance in order to allow access to equipment and transport and logistical resources under the Union Mechanism:

   (a) providing and sharing information on equipment and on transport and logistical resources that Member States decide to make available, with a view to facilitating the pooling of such equipment or transport and logistical resources;
   (b) assisting Member States to identify transport and logistical resources that may be available from other sources, including the commercial market, and facilitating their access to such resources;
   (c) assisting Member States to identify equipment that may be available from other sources, including the commercial market;
   (d) financing transport and logistical resources necessary for ensuring a rapid response to disasters. Such actions shall be eligible for financial support only if the following criteria are met:
   (i) a request for assistance has been made under the Union Mechanism in accordance with Articles 15 and 16;
   (ii) the additional transport and logistical resources are necessary for ensuring the effectiveness of disaster response under the Union Mechanism;
   (iii) the assistance corresponds to the needs identified by the ERCC and is delivered in accordance with the recommendations given by the ERCC on the technical specifications, quality, timing and modalities for delivery;
   (iv) the assistance has been accepted by a requesting country, directly or through the United Nations or its agencies, or a relevant international organisation, under the Union Mechanism; and
   (v) the assistance complements, for disasters in third countries, any overall Union humanitarian response.

1a.  The amount of Union financial assistance for the transport of capacities not pre-committed to the European Civil Protection Pool and deployed in the event of a disaster or imminent disaster inside or outside the Union and for any other transport support needed to respond to a disaster shall not exceed 75 % of the total eligible cost.

2.  The amount of Union financial assistance for capacities pre-committed to the European Civil Protection Pool shall not exceed 75 % of the costs of operating the capacities, including transport, in the event of a disaster or imminent disaster inside or outside the Union.

4.  The Union financial assistance for transport and logistical resources may cover a maximum of 100 % of the total eligible costs specified in points (a) to (d), where this is necessary to make the pooling of Member States' assistance operationally effective and where the costs relate to one of the following:

   (a) short-term rental of warehousing capacity to temporarily store the assistance from Member States with a view to facilitating their coordinated transport;
   (b) transport from the Member State offering the assistance to the Member State facilitating its coordinated transport;
   (c) repackaging of Member States' assistance to make maximum use of available transport capacities or to meet specific operational requirements; or
   (d) local transport, transit and warehousing of pooled assistance with a view to ensuring a coordinated delivery at the final destination in the requesting country.

4a.  When rescEU capacities are used for national purposes in accordance with Article 12(5), all costs, including maintenance and repair costs, shall be covered by the Member State using the capacities.

4b.  In the event of deployment of rescEU capacities under the Union Mechanism, Union financial assistance shall cover 75 % of the operational costs.

By way of derogation from the first subparagraph, Union financial assistance shall cover 100 % of the operational costs of rescEU capacities necessary for low probability disasters with a high impact, when those capacities are deployed under the Union Mechanism.

4c.  For deployments outside the Union, as referred to in Article 12(10), Union financial assistance shall cover 100 % of the operational costs.

4d.  When the Union financial assistance referred to in this Article does not cover 100 % of costs, the remaining amount of the costs shall be borne by the requester of the assistance, unless otherwise agreed with the Member State offering assistance or the Member State hosting the rescEU capacities.

4e.  For the deployment of rescEU capacities, Union financial assistance may cover 100 % of any direct costs necessary for the transport of cargo, logistical means and services, within the Union, and to the Union from third countries.

5.  In the case of pooling of transport operations involving several Member States, a Member State may take the lead in requesting Union financial support for the entire operation.

6.  When a Member State requests the Commission to contract transport services, the Commission shall request partial reimbursement of the costs according to the funding rates set out in paragraphs 1a, 2 and 4.

6a.  Without prejudice to paragraphs 1a and 2, Union financial support for the transport of assistance needed in environmental disasters in which the ‘polluter pays principle’ applies may cover a maximum of 100 % of the total eligible costs. The following conditions shall apply:

   (a) the Union financial support for the transport of assistance is requested by the affected or assisting Member State based on a duly justified needs assessment;
   (b) the affected or assisting Member State, as appropriate, takes all necessary steps to request and obtain compensation from the polluter, in accordance with all applicable international, Union or national legal provisions;
   (c) upon receiving compensation from the polluter, the affected or assisting Member State, as appropriate, shall immediately reimburse the Union.

In the event of an environmental disaster as referred to in the first subparagraph which does not affect a Member State, the actions referred to in points (a), (b) and (c) shall be carried out by the assisting Member State.

7.  The following costs shall be eligible for Union financial assistance for transport and logistical resources under this Article: all costs relating to the movement of transport and logistical resources, including the costs of all services, fees, logistical and handling costs, fuel and possible accommodation costs as well as other indirect costs such as taxes, duties in general and transit costs.

8.  Transport costs may consist of unit costs, lump sums or flat rates, determined per category of cost.’;

"

(22)  Article 25 is replaced by the following:"

‘Article 25

Types of financial intervention and implementing procedures

1.  The Commission shall implement the Union's financial support in accordance with the Financial Regulation.

2.   The Commission shall implement the Union's financial support in direct management in accordance with the Financial Regulation or, where justified by the nature and content of the action concerned, in indirect management with the bodies referred to in point (c)(ii), (iv), (v) and (vi) of Article 62(1)of the Financial Regulation.

3.  Financial support under this Decision may take any of the forms laid down in the Financial Regulation, in particular the form of grants, procurement or contributions to trust funds.

4.  In accordance with point (a) of the second subparagraph of Article 193(2) of the Financial Regulation, taking into account the delayed entry into force of Regulation (EU) 2021/... of the European Parliament and of the Council*(30) and in order to ensure continuity, in duly justified cases specified in the financing decision and for a limited period, costs incurred in respect of actions supported under this Decision may be considered eligible as of 1 January 2021, even if they were incurred before the grant application was submitted.

5.  In order to implement this Decision, the Commission shall adopt annual or multi-annual work programmes, by means of implementing acts. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 33(2). The annual or multi-annual work programmes shall set out the objectives pursued, the expected results, the method of implementation and their total amount. They shall also contain a description of actions to be financed, an indication of the amount allocated to each action and an indicative implementation timetable. With regard to the financial assistance referred to in Article 28(2), the annual or multi-annual work programmes shall describe the actions foreseen for countries referred to therein.

No annual or multi-annual work programmes shall be required for actions falling under the disaster response laid down in Chapter IV, which cannot be provided for in advance.

6.  For the purposes of transparency and predictability, the budgetary execution and the projected future allocations shall be presented and discussed on a yearly basis in the committee referred to in Article 33. The European Parliament shall be kept informed.

7.  In addition to Article 12(4) of the Financial Regulation, commitment and payment appropriations that have not been used by the end of the financial year for which they were entered in the annual budget shall be automatically carried over and may be committed and paid up to 31 December of the following year. The carried-over appropriations shall be used solely for response actions. The carried-over appropriations shall be the first appropriations to be used in the following financial year.

_____________________

* Regulation (EU) 2021/… of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... amending Decision No 1313/2013/EU on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism (OJ L ...).’;

"

(23)  Article 27 is replaced by the following:"

‘Article 27

Protection of the financial interests of the Union

Where a third country participates in the Union Mechanism by means of a decision adopted pursuant to an international agreement or on the basis of any other legal instrument, the third country shall grant the necessary rights and access required for the authorising officer responsible, OLAF and the ▌Court of Auditors to comprehensively exercise their respective competences. In the case of OLAF, such rights shall include the right to carry out investigations, including on-the-spot checks and inspections, as provided for in Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council*.

________________

* Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 September 2013 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1074/1999, (OJ L 248, 18.9.2013, p. 1).’

"

(24)  Article 30 is amended as follows:

(a)  paragraph 2 is replaced by the following:"

‘2. The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 19(6) and in the second subparagraph of Article 21(3) shall be conferred on the Commission until 31 December 2027.’

"

(b)  paragraph 3 is deleted;

(c)  paragraph 4 is replaced by the following:"

‘4. The delegation of power referred to in Article 19(6) and in the second subparagraph of Article 21(3) may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.’;

"

(d)  paragraph 7 is replaced by the following:"

‘7. A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 19(6) or the second subparagraph of Article 21(3) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.’;

"

(25)  in Article 32(1), point (i) is replaced by the following :"

‘(i) the organisation of support for ▌transport and logistical resources, as provided for in Articles 18 and 23;’;

"

(26)  in Article 33, the following paragraph is added:"

‘3. Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 8 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011, in conjunction with Article 5 thereof, shall apply’;

"

(27)  in Article 34, paragraphs 2 and 3 are replaced by the following:"

‘2. Every two years, the Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and to the Council on operations and progress made under Article 6(5) and Articles 11 and 12. The report shall include information on progress made towards the Union disaster resilience goals, capacity goals and remaining gaps as referred to in Article 11(2), taking into account the establishment of rescEU capacities in accordance with Article 12. The report shall also provide an overview of the budgetary and cost developments relating to response capacities, and an assessment of the need for further development of those capacities.

3.  By 31 December 2023 and every five years thereafter, the Commission shall evaluate the application of this Decision and submit a communication on the effectiveness, cost efficiency and continued implementation of this Decision, in particular as regards Article 6(4), rescEU capacities and the degree of coordination and synergies achieved with other Union policies, programmes and funds, including medical emergencies, to the European Parliament and to the Council. That communication shall be accompanied, where appropriate, by proposals for amendments to this Decision.’;

"

(28)  Annex I to Decision No 1313/2013/EU is replaced by the text set out in the Annex to this Regulation;

(29)  the title of Annex Ia is replaced by the following:"

‘Categories of eligible costs as referred to in Article 21(3)’.

"

Article 2

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the day of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

It shall apply from 1 January 2021.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Brussels,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

ANNEX

‘Annex I

Percentages for allocation of the financial envelope for the implementation of the Union Mechanism referred to in Article 19(1a) and of the amount referred to in Article 19a for the period 2021 to 2027

Prevention: 5 % +/- 4 percentage points

Preparedness: 85 % +/- 10 percentage points

Response: 10 % +/- 9 percentage points

Principles

When implementing this Decision, the Union target of contributing to overall climate objectives and to the ambition of mainstreaming biodiversity action in the Union’s policies shall be duly taken into account to the extent that the unpredictability and specific circumstances of disaster preparedness and response so allow.’.

(1) OJ C 385, 13.11.2020, p. 1.
(2) OJ C 10, 11.1.2021, p. 66.
(3) OJ C 440, 18.12.2020, p. 150.
(4) This position replaces the amendments adopted on 16 September 2020 (Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0218).
(5)OJ C 10, 11.1.2021, p. 66.
(6)OJ C 440, 18.12.2020, p. 150.
(7) OJ C 385, 13.11.2020, p. 1.
(8) Position of the European Parliament of 27 April 2021.
(9)Decision No 1313/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2013 on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 924).
(10)Not yet published in the Official Journal.
(11) OJ L 282, 19.10.2016, p. 4.
(12) Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers (OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13).
(13) Regulation (EU) 2021/... of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... establishing a programme for the Union's action in the field of health ('EU4Health Programme') for the period 2021-2027, and repealing Regulation (EU) No 282/2014 (OJ L ...).
(14)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file PE-CONS 69/20 (2020/0102(COD)), and insert the number, date, authors, name and OJ reference of that Regulation in the footnote.
(15) Council Regulation (EU) 2016/369 of 15 March 2016 on the provision of emergency support within the Union (JO L 70, 16.3.2016, p. 1).
(16) Regulation (EU) 2021/241 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the Recovery and Resilience Facility (OJ L 57, 18.2.2021, p. 17).
(17) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(18) Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2020/2093 of 17 December 2020 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2021 to 2027 (OJ L 433 I, 22.12.2020, p. 11).
(19) Council Regulation (EU) 2020/2094 of 14 December 2020 establishing a European Union Recovery Instrument to support the recovery in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis (OJ L 433 I, 22.12.2020, p. 23).
(20)Directive 2004/35/CE of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage (OJ L 143, 30.4.2004, p. 56).
(21) Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union, amending Regulations (EU) No 1296/2013, (EU) No 1301/2013, (EU) No 1303/2013, (EU) No 1304/2013, (EU) No 1309/2013, (EU) No 1316/2013, (EU) No 223/2014, (EU) No 283/2014, and Decision No 541/2014/EU and repealing Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 (OJ L 193, 30.7.2018, p. 1).
(22)Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 September 2013 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1074/1999 (OJ L 248, 18.9.2013, p. 1).
(23)Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995 on the protection of the European Communities financial interests (OJ L 312, 23.12.1995, p. 1).
(24)Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities' financial interests against fraud and other irregularities (OJ L 292, 15.11.1996, p. 2).
(25)Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1939 of 12 October 2017 implementing enhanced cooperation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (‘the EPPO’) (OJ L 283, 31.10.2017, p. 1).
(26)Directive (EU) 2017/1371 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2017 on the fight against fraud to the Union's financial interests by means of criminal law (OJ L 198, 28.7.2017, p. 29).
(27)OJ L 1, 3.1.1994, p. 3.
(28) OJ L 123, 12.5.2016, p. 1.
(29)+ OJ: please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file 2018/0236(COD), and insert the number, date, authors, name and OJ reference of that Regulation in the footnote.
(30)+ OJ : please insert in the text the number of the Regulation contained in file 2020/0097(COD), and insert the number, date, authors, name and OJ reference of that Regulation in the footnote.


EU/Honduras Voluntary Partnership Agreement
PDF 136kWORD 58k
European Parliament non-legislative resolution of 27 April 2021 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Honduras on forest law enforcement, governance and trade in timber products to the European Union (12543/2020 – C9-0084/2021 – 2020/0157M(NLE))
P9_TA(2021)0129A9-0054/2021

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council Decision on the conclusion of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Honduras on forest law enforcement, governance and trade in timber products to the European Union (12543/2020),

–  having regard to the draft Voluntary Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Honduras on forest law enforcement, governance and trade in timber products to the European Union (10365/2020),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with the first subparagraphs of Articles 207(3) and 207(4), in conjunction with Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v), and with Article 218(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C9-0084/2021),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2173/2005 of 20 December 2005 on the establishment of a FLEGT licensing scheme for imports of timber into the European Community(1) (FLEGT Regulation),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010 laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market(2) (EU Timber Regulation),

–  having regard to the Paris Climate Agreement,

–  having regard to the UN Sustainable Development Goals,

–  having regard to the European Green Deal (COM(2019)0640) and to its resolution of 15 January 2020 thereon(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 September 2020 on the EU’s role in protecting and restoring the world’s forests(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 22 October 2020 with recommendations to the Commission on an EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 April 2016 on Honduras: situation of human rights defenders(6),

–  having regard to the ongoing fitness check on the EU rules applicable to illegal logging, notably the EU Timber Regulation and FLEGT Regulation,

–  having regard to the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan of 2003 and the Work Plan for its implementation 2018-2022,

–  having regard to the Agreement establishing an Association between the European Union and its Member States, on the one hand, and Central America, on the other(7),

–  having regard to the annual High-Level Policy Dialogue between Honduras and the EU in the forest sector,

–  having regard to the declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU of 6 December 2019 on the extension of the mandate of the Mission to Support the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH),

–  having regard to its legislative resolution of 27 April 2021 on the draft Council decision(8),

–  having regard to Rule 105(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Development,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade (A9-0054/2021),

A.  whereas almost half of the land area in Honduras is covered by forests, half of which is tropical rainforest; whereas there is still a huge resource of unclassified trees and species; whereas Honduras has lost about 12,5 % of its forest area since 2015 due mainly to a pest infestation, most likely caused by climate change, while some forest area has been lost due to fires, deforestation and illegal logging;

B.  whereas Honduras passed its Climate Change Law in 2014 and the following year became the first state to publish its first nationally determined contribution (NDC) in the framework of the Paris Agreement, of which one commitment is to restore one million hectares of forests;

C.  whereas the share of the forest sector in Honduras’ economy has decreased over the years, having accounted for around 3,6 % of gross national product (GNP) in the last 16 years, owing to stricter requirements on the legality of timber in Honduras’ export markets and to forest destruction; whereas the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) process, which emphasises legality and good governance, is helping the forest sector to increase its share, provide decent rural jobs and generate income for Hondurans;

D.  whereas the volume of timber traded between Honduras and the EU is currently modest and accounts for less than 2 % of Honduras’ timber exports, with the US being the biggest trading partner and with increasing exports to neighbouring countries El Salvador and Nicaragua; whereas the VPA could open up more opportunities for Honduras to export to the EU and new markets;

E.  whereas Honduras is a lower-middle income country according to a classification by the World Bank; whereas it is the second poorest country in Latin America and the third poorest in the Western Hemisphere; whereas Honduras needs to overcome many challenges in order to fight poverty, inequality, corruption, violence and impunity, which remain persistent concerns, and improve the well-being of its citizens, as well as the situation of women’s rights, not least given the recent backlash against sexual and reproductive health and rights;

F.  Notes that the Government of Honduras has made positive commitments and initiated legislation to protect human rights defenders; regrets the abuses, violence, arbitrary detentions, threats and killings of human, indigenous and land rights defenders and environmental activists; whereas Honduras is not a signatory to the Escazú Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean, which is the first ever environmental agreement to contain specific provisions on environmental and human rights defenders;

G.  whereas the mandate of the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) ended in January 2020 and was not renewed; whereas the EU and its Member States had called on the Government of Honduras to renew this mandate in order to strengthen the rule of law in the country;

H.  whereas the EU-Central America Association Agreement was concluded in 2012, with the trade pillar having been provisionally applied since 1 August 2013;

I.  whereas in 2013, Honduras became the first Latin American country to start negotiations with the EU on a FLEGT VPA, resulting in the initialling of a draft agreement in 2018;

J.  whereas the objective of the VPA is to ensure that all shipments of timber and timber products from Honduras destined for the EU market will comply with a Honduran Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS) and thereby qualify for FLEGT licence; whereas domestic timber and timber destined for other export markets will also need to comply with TLAS and will be subject to the issuance of an H-Legal Certificate;

K.  whereas the TLAS is based on a legality definition, supply chain controls, verification of compliance, FLEGT licensing and an independent audit;

L.  whereas the agreement covers the five obligatory timber products under the FLEGT Regulation – logs, sawn timber, railway sleepers, plywood and veneer – and a number of other timber products;

M.  whereas the purpose and expected benefits of FLEGT VPAs go beyond the facilitation of trade in legal timber, as they are also designed to bring about systemic changes in forest governance, law enforcement, including labour law and indigenous peoples’ rights, transparency and the inclusion of various stakeholders in the political decision-making process, in particular civil society organisations (CSOs) and indigenous communities, as well as support for economic integration and respect for international sustainable development goals; whereas the negotiations leading to the conclusion of this VPA have created a space for cooperation among different stakeholders to discuss environmental, human rights, social and economic issues; whereas Honduras shall ensure that the implementation and monitoring of the VPA involves the relevant stakeholders, irrespective of their gender, age, location, religion or beliefs, ethnic origin, race, language or disability and the participation of the private sector, civil society, local communities, indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples of Honduras and others dependent on forests(9);

N.  whereas the VPA provides for a Joint Implementation Committee which is responsible for its implementation and monitoring;

O.  whereas the EU provided support for the negotiation process via three bilateral programmes under its development assistance;

P.  whereas general elections will take place in Honduras by the end of 2021;

Q.  whereas Honduras has ratified the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention No 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, but has not fully implemented it and has not introduced in its legislation the key principle of free, prior and informed consent stemming from the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;

1.  Welcomes the conclusion of negotiations on the VPA between the EU and Honduras, which will ensure that only legally logged timber is imported into the EU from Honduras, promote sustainable forest management practices and sustainable trade in legally produced timber, and improve forest governance, law enforcement (including labour and occupational, health and safety obligations), human rights, transparency, accountability and institutional resilience in Honduras, bearing in mind that forests are important to the Honduran economy and that the problem of deforestation in the country should be addressed more effectively; calls for the swift ratification of the VPA by both sides so it can enter into force in 2021 and pave the way for the subsequent important steps in terms of implementation, including the setting up of licensing;

2.  Expresses its solidarity with Honduras, which recently suffered two hurricanes that brought severe consequences in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has also hit the country very hard; stresses the need to tackle urgently and on a global scale the root causes of such extreme weather phenomena and zoonosis, which are linked to climate change, deforestation and biodiversity loss;

3.  Greatly appreciates the fact that Honduras managed to ensure the involvement of its government institutions, civil society, private sector, indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples, academia and communities in the VPA drafting process, who accepted this offer and provided their contributions; welcomes the fact that all of these sectors of society agreed to sit around the same negotiating table, thereby ensuring a feeling of inclusiveness and the possibility to contribute;

4.  Recognises that the full implementation of the VPA will be a long-term process which will require the adoption of a whole set of legislation and adequate administrative capacity and expertise for its implementation and enforcement; recalls that FLEGT licencing can only begin once Honduras has demonstrated the readiness of its TLAS;

5.  Stresses that the implementation stage requires genuine and continued consultations and substantial multistakeholder involvement, including the meaningful participation of CSOs and local and indigenous communities in decision-making so as to guarantee the principle of free, prior and informed consent; recalls the need to enhance transparency and ensure the effective public disclosure of information and the timely sharing of documents with local and indigenous peoples; calls on the Commission, the EU Delegation to Honduras and the Member States to ensure and provide substantial capacity-building and logistical and technical support in the framework of present and future development cooperation instruments in order to enable Honduras to fulfil the commitments for the implementation of the TLAS and related measures;

6.  Welcomes the recent adoption of the Honduran VPA implementation action plan and calls on the Government of Honduras to follow a concrete, time-bound and measurable approach;

7.  Is alarmed at the fact that more than 20 activists for environmental protection and the rights of indigenous peoples have been killed since the initialling of the VPA in July 2018; believes that the success of the VPA will depend to a large extent on the creation of a safe and enabling environment for the protection of environmental activists and human right defenders and whistleblowers, ensuring effective remedies for human rights violations and combating impunity; stresses, in this respect, that the ratification of the Escazú Agreement would be a significant step in the right direction; urges the Government of Honduras to take steps to this end;

8.  Believes that the fight against corruption needs to be constant; welcomes the fact that transparency has proven useful in the process to concluding the VPA and should be fully ensured in the forthcoming implementation process; stresses that the success of the FLEGT also depends on tackling fraud and corruption throughout the timber supply chain; calls, to this effect, for the EU to strengthen the scope and enforcement of the EU Timber Regulation in order to tackle corruption risks in the EU’s timber supply chain, including through more regular and systematic controls and investigations at EU ports; notes Honduras’ efforts hitherto in making advances towards greater transparency and urges the Government of Honduras to provide incentives in the various stages of the forest value chain so as to increase transparency and ensure inclusion of the most vulnerable operators, such as young people and women from indigenous communities, people of African descent and small farmers; urges the Government of Honduras, furthermore, to work to stop widespread corruption and address other factors fuelling illegal logging and forest degradation, with particular regard to customs, the Honduras Forest Authority and the ministries dealing with forests and land rights, and other authorities that will play a pivotal role in the implementation and enforcement of the VPA; stresses the need to end impunity in the forest sector by ensuring that infractions are prosecuted;

9.  Urges the Government of Honduras to renew the mandate for the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), which ended in January 2020;

10.  Welcomes the fact that Honduras is the first VPA country that had indigenous peoples as a separate interest group at the negotiating table, and the brave participation of indigenous peoples’ groups, with their particular insights and contributions; calls for the rapid inclusion of free, prior and informed consent in the legality definition and for the adoption of the relevant laws in Honduras;

11.  Recognises that the process of negotiating a VPA can allow sectors to identify shared goals and priorities to work towards sustainable forest management, as well as offer an important opportunity for societies to allow for participative management of their forests at local, community and regional levels and even up to national or federal level;

12.  Is aware of the fact that the crucial land tenure rights and rights of indigenous communities in Honduras need clarification and that concrete safeguards are needed on land tenure for local and indigenous communities; recalls that access to, use of and control over land has been a major source of social conflicts, violence and human rights abuses in Honduras; recalls, in particular, that according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, approximately 80 % of privately held land in Honduras is either untitled or improperly titled, while it may take years to resolve title disputes, owing to the weakness of the judicial system; urges the Government of Honduras to allocate more resources to and strengthen the coordination of the public institutions involved;

13.  Emphasises the importance of land use in forest governance and that a strategic vision in forest governance linked to climate change issues is needed; calls on the Government of Honduras to ensure close coordination between the existing different initiatives in the forest sector, such as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD+), the FLEGT VPA and NDCs;

14.  Calls on the Government of Honduras to strengthen vigilance and forest fire protection zones on privately owned lands; calls for supply chain management to be rolled out in the animal husbandry, coffee and palm oil sectors, as this is essential to address the root causes of deforestation;

15.  Believes that the successful negotiations of this VPA demonstrate the importance of the Union’s Delegations to third countries;

16.  Calls for gender analysis to be mainstreamed into all activities and projects linked to the implementation of the FLEGT VPA; calls for quantitative and qualitative gender-disaggregated analysis of land tenure, ownership of assets and financial inclusion in sectors impacted by trade; calls on the Commission to support these endeavours with technical and human resources;

17.  Expresses its deep concern over the amendment of abortion laws in Honduras and some EU Member States;

18.  Stresses the importance of forest jobs and rural employment in the economy of Honduras, which should be taken into account for the implementation of the VPA; sees the VPA as a tool to promote decent work; calls on the Commission and the Honduran authorities to conduct an exhaustive impact assessment of the VPA on the workers and small producers of the sector who could be affected by increased logging controls; calls on the Commission to promote and support programmes for the workers and producers affected to enable them to remain competitive in the sector;

19.  Asks the Commission to report to Parliament regularly on the implementation of the agreement, including on the work of the Joint Implementation Committee, and invites the Commission to actively engage with Parliament, in particular by inviting it to send a delegation to participate in the work of the Joint Implementation Committee;

20.  Calls on the Member States to fully comply with, implement and enforce the EU Timber Regulation; calls on the Commission to consider improving the FLEGT Regulation as regards FLEGT licensing during the next review exercise in order to enable it to respond quickly to cases of significant infringements of VPA commitments;

21.  Stresses that countries all over the world which either have or aim to have regulated import markets for legal timber would benefit from cooperating and, where possible, endorsing each other’s rules and systems, such as the EU’s FLEGT and VPAs; emphasises that international standards would be more effective and promote long-term legal security for business and consumers;

22.  Underlines that VPAs provide an important legal framework for both the EU and its partner countries, made possible by the good cooperation and engagement of the countries concerned; supports the Commission in finding additional potential partners for future VPAs under FLEGT;

23.  Believes that the EU has a very important and responsible role to play and obligation to abide by in improving both the supply and the demand side of timber in order to reject illegally produced timber and assist exporting countries in their efforts to combat illegal logging and corruption, which results in the destruction of their forests, climate change and human rights violations; stresses the need to complement this work with a forthcoming due diligence and forest-risk commodity specific EU due diligence regulation; notes the importance of Honduras as a globally significant producer of coffee;

24.  Highlights that VPAs are part and parcel of the EU’s efforts to achieve the targets set by the Paris Agreement and the UN 2030 Agenda, notably the Sustainable Development Goals; invites the Commission and the Member States to fully integrate the FLEGT agenda into the new strategic framework of the European Green Deal by encouraging its promotion at global and regional level and further strengthening international cooperation between producing and importing countries;

25.  Calls for the EU to ensure policy coherence for sustainable development between the VPA and all its policies, including in the fields of trade, development, agriculture and the environment, while ensuring the complementarity of the VPA with EU commitments to environmental and climate protection;

26.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Republic of Honduras.

(1) OJ L 347, 30.12.2005, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 295, 12.11.2010, p. 23.
(3) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0005.
(4) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0212.
(5) Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0285.
(6) OJ C 58, 15.2.2018, p. 155.
(7) OJ L 346, 15.12.2012, p. 3.
(8) Texts adopted of that date, P9_TA(2021)0121.
(9) Pursuant to Article 16 of the VPA.


Interinstitutional agreement on a mandatory transparency register
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European Parliament decision of 27 April 2021 on the conclusion of an interinstitutional agreement between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission on a mandatory transparency register (2020/2272(ACI))
P9_TA(2021)0130A9-0123/2021

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Conference of Presidents’ decision of 9 December 2020, endorsing the draft interinstitutional agreement establishing a mandatory transparency register,

–  having regard to the draft interinstitutional agreement between the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission on a mandatory transparency register (‘the Agreement’),

–  having regard to Article 11(1) and (2) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to Article 295 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the draft political statement of the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on the occasion of the adoption of the interinstitutional agreement on a mandatory transparency register (‘the political statement’),

–  having regard to the interinstitutional agreement of 16 April 2014 between the European Parliament and the European Commission on the transparency register for organisations and self-employed individuals engaged in EU policy-making and policy implementation (‘the 2014 Agreement’)(1),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 28 September 2016 for an Interinstitutional Agreement on a mandatory Transparency Register (COM(2016)0627),

–  having regard to the European Parliament negotiating mandate on the Commission proposal of 28 September 2016 for an Interinstitutional Agreement on a mandatory Transparency Register, adopted by the Conference of Presidents on 15 June 2017,

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 September 2017 on transparency, accountability and integrity in the EU institutions(2),

–  having regard to the new package of transparency tools for Members, endorsed by the Conference of Presidents on 27 July 2018,

–  having regard to its decision of 31 January 2019 on amendments to Parliament’s Rules of Procedure affecting Chapters 1 and 4 of Title I; Chapter 3 of Title V; Chapters 4 and 5 of Title VII; Chapter 1 of Title VIII; Title XII; Title XIV and Annex II(3), in particular Rules 11 and 35,

–  having regard to Rule 148(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A9-0123/2021),

A.  whereas Article 11(2) TEU states: "The institutions shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with representative associations and civil society";

B.  whereas the sanitary emergency due to the COVID pandemic has led to the emergence of new forms of interaction between interest representatives and decision-makers;

C.  whereas the Union will disburse in various forms unprecedented volumes of financial support to the Member States in order to fight the consequences of the pandemic, and every decision related thereto has to be taken with full transparency, ensuring full accountability on the part of the Union's decision makers;

D.  whereas citizens should have the greatest possible trust in the Union’s institutions: whereas that trust, in order to exist, needs to be underpinned by a perception that interest representation is bound by high ethical standards and that their elected representatives at Union level, the Commissioners and the Union’s officials are independent, transparent and accountable; whereas an independent body common to the Union’s institutions could in the future contribute to the establishment of a common ethical framework for Union officials governing their interactions with interest representatives; whereas adherence of applicants and registrants to the Union’s values and to general ethical standards should, where appropriate, be taken into account in the context of the functioning of the transparency register;

E.  whereas the individual institutional measures implementing the Agreement are taken by Parliament at various levels and range from the adoption of implementing rules by the Bureau to the amendment of the Rules of Procedure;

F.  whereas in the Agreement each of the three signatory institutions agrees to adopt individual decisions empowering the management board of the register (‘the Management Board’) and the secretariat of the register (‘the Secretariat’) to take decisions on its behalf in line with Article 9 and Article 15(2) of the Agreement;

Purpose and scope

1.  Welcomes the Agreement as a further step enhancing the standards of ethical interest representation; recalls nevertheless that under Article 295 TFEU, the institutions can only make arrangements for their cooperation, and therefore have to rely on their powers of self-organisation in order to create de-facto obligations requiring third parties to subscribe to the register; reiterates its long-standing preference for establishing the transparency register via a legislative act, since this is the only way of legally binding third parties;

2.  Insists that, in line with the political statement, the institutions commit to a coordinated approach on reinforcing the common transparency culture with a view to improving and further strengthening ethical interest representation; highlights their obligation under the Agreement, as well as under Article 13(2) TEU, to practise mutual sincere cooperation when developing the joint framework and that the institutions should therefore aim for the highest level of commitment; points out that the measures referred to in the Agreement represent a minimum and could be expanded further subject to political support and taking into consideration the existing constitutional and legal limitations of an interinstitutional agreement;

3.  Reaffirms the need to continue with the interinstitutional dialogue with a view to establishing the transparency register on the basis of a legally binding act of Union secondary legislation;

4.  Proposes that the Conference on the Future of Europe should discuss the possibility of establishing an autonomous legal basis that would enable the co-legislators to adopt Union legislative acts in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure with the aim of imposing binding ethical rules on interest representatives in their interactions with the Union’s institutions;

5.  Welcomes the fact that the status of the Council of the European Union has changed from that of an observer to that of a formal party to the Agreement; considers nevertheless that its participation is limited to meetings with the most senior officials, and, under voluntary schemes only, meetings of the Permanent Representatives and Deputy Permanent Representatives during their presidency and six months before; insists that for the credibility of the joint framework all Permanent Representations should take an active part in it through their voluntary schemes, and continue to apply them after their presidency has ended and extend them, insofar as this is possible, to other officials;

6.  Points out that in the negotiation process the Commission has not made any substantive additional commitments to the joint framework; regrets in particular that, with regard to personal scope, it covers only the most senior staff of the institutions; insists that any revision of the conditionality arrangements with regard to all three institutions should include meetings with other staff of the institutions, at Heads of Unit level and above;

7.  Welcomes the commitments made by Parliament in the negotiation process on conditionality and complementary transparency measures; considers that the modification of Rules 11 and 35 of its Rules of Procedure have provided a strong commitment in that regard; welcomes the fact that the Agreement preserves the constitutional right of the Members to exercise their mandate freely;

8.  Welcomes the possibility of involvement by Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies on a voluntary basis; believes that such involvement should be encouraged by the signatory institutions, in line with their obligation to promote the use of the register and to make use of the register to the fullest extent; insists that such participation will require the signatory institutions to provide the register with further resources;

Covered activities

9.  Highlights that the Agreement relies on an activity-based approach which includes indirect lobbying activities; insists on the importance of covering such activities, in particular in the context of the emergence, against the backdrop of the pandemic, of new forms of interaction of interest representatives with EU decision-makers;

10.  Welcomes clarifications concerning the activities covered and not covered, including the exclusion of spontaneous encounters and coverage of intermediaries of third countries which do not enjoy diplomatic status;

11.  Considers it to be important to define the meetings with interest representatives that should be published as meetings scheduled in advance; welcomes Commission’s practice to publish also those meetings taking place in a different format than in person-meetings, such as by video-conference; insists that a scheduled telephone call should be considered a meeting as well;

Conditionality, annual report and review

12.  Is of the opinion that the implementation of the conditionality measures and other complementary transparency measures through individual decisions is a way to respect the respective internal organisational powers of the three signatory institutions; welcomes in that regard the fact that the annual report has been expanded to cover the implementation of such measures adopted by the signatory institutions;

13.  Proposes that the annual report include information on registrants who have been investigated and finally removed from the register because of non-compliance with the code of conduct;

14.  Welcomes the timely and regular review of the implementation measures taken pursuant to Article 5 of the Agreement, with a view to making recommendations for the improvement and reinforcement of those measures;

15.  Calls on the signatory institutions to conduct an analysis of the effects that new rules of transparency have on decision-making procedures, including conditionality and complementary transparency measures adopted by the institutions within the joint framework, and the impact that these rules have on the perception of citizens towards the Union institutions ahead of the next revision of the register;

16.  Highlights that the clear and timely publication of the conditionality and complementary transparency measures is essential in order to ensure that transparency for interest representatives and citizens which underpins their trust in the good functioning of the joint framework;

Role of the European Parliament

17.  Welcomes the commitments made by Parliament in the course of the negotiations, notably on the proposal “Closing the loopholes – Parliament’s proposals on conditionality” and insists on the need to fully implement and publish them in accordance with Article 5(3) of the Agreement without undue delay;

18.  Stresses the need to ensure that, within Parliament, there is a high degree of political ownership of the implementation and review process; suggests that the review process provided for in Article 14 of the Agreement should be informed by, and shaped in, close cooperation with Parliament’s Vice-President responsible for the transparency register;

19.  Calls specifically for the following measures to be swiftly implemented by the Bureau and other relevant bodies:

   (a) establishing a direct link between the publication of the meetings under Rule 11(3) and the transparency register and introducing substantive improvements in order to render this publication tool fully user-friendly and searchable;
   (b) establishing a direct link between the legislative footprint provided for in Article 4(6) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament with respect to financial interests and conflicts of interest, contained in Annex I to its Rules of Procedure, and the transparency register;
   (c) introducing a rule for Parliament’s officials from Head of Unit level to Secretary General, to meet only with registered interest representatives;
   (d) issuing a recommendation for Parliament’s staff to meet with individuals or organisations in the scope of the transparency register only if those are registered and to systematically verify that fact prior to their meetings;
   (e) developing a comprehensive approach in order to make participation as a speaker at all events organised by committees or by intergroups, such as workshops and seminars as well as delegation meetings, conditional upon registration for anyone falling under the scope of the transparency register;
   (f) developing a comprehensive and coherent approach with regard to co-hosting of events on Parliament's premises and making it, where appropriate, conditional upon registration for anyone falling under the scope of the transparency register;

20.  Calls specifically on the Conference of the Committee Chairs

   (a) to adopt guidelines in order to support rapporteurs, shadow rapporteurs and committee Chairs to fulfil their obligations under Rule 11(3);
   (b) to adopt guidelines for committee secretariats to support Members by systematically reminding them of the possibility to publish, in line with Article 4(6) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament with respect to financial interests and conflicts of interest, contained in Annex I to its Rules of Procedure, the list of interests representatives who have been consulted on matters pertaining to the subject of the report;

21.  Calls on the Committee on Constitutional Affairs to consider, in the process of revision of the Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, further transparency measures which should be introduced in order to enhance Parliament’s commitment to the joint framework; underlines the importance of the formal requirements that apply to any revision of the Rules of Procedure;

Eligibility, code of conduct, information to be provided by the registrants

22.  Notes that observance of the code of conduct, set out in Annex I to the Agreement, is part of the eligibility criteria and that registrants are to take into account confidentiality requirements and rules applicable to former Members and staff of the institutions which apply to those Members and staff after leaving office;

23.  Welcomes clarification that registrants are not released from the obligation to ensure the observance of the same ethical standards when they outsource part of their activities to others;

24.  Welcomes the fact that registrants are obliged to publish financial information of both clients and intermediaries and that financial information is also required from registrants who do not represent commercial interests; welcomes the fact that registrants are obliged not only to publish financial information once a year but also to keep that information up-to-date, in particular where a significant change occurs to details subject to implementing decisions;

25.  Highlights that registrants are now obliged to provide information about the legislative proposals, policies or initiatives that they target; considers that this will contribute to increasing the transparency of the interests that they represent;

Secretariat and Management Board

26.  Welcomes the undertaking to increase resources for maintenance, development and promotion of the register, as well as the Council’s formal contribution to the Secretariat; believes that such commitments to the joint framework should enhance the capacity of the Secretariat to provide timely guidance to the registrants and support them in the registration and update of the requested data; points out, in particular, that human resources are very limited in proportion to the number of registrants in comparison with similar national schemes and that that limitation hampers the efficiency of the operation of the register; calls on the institutions to ensure the provision of the resources and staff necessary in order to guarantee the proper functioning of the Secretariat and the Management Board;

27.  Considers that the equal footing of all three institutions in the operation of the Secretariat and of the Management Board should ensure consensus, develop the joint ownership of the framework and foster a common culture of transparency;

28.  Welcomes the creation of the Management Board and its task to oversee the overall administrative implementation of the Agreement and act as review body for the measures taken by the Secretariat; welcomes the fact that the Agreement includes a robust administrative procedure ensuring the procedural rights of the registrants;

Procedural provisions

29.  Approves the conclusion of the Agreement contained in Annex A to this Decision;

30.  Approves the political statement of the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission contained in Annex B to this Decision, which will be published in the L series of the Official Journal of the European Union together with the Agreement;

31.  Decides that, in accordance with Article 9 and Article 15(2) of the Agreement, as from the entry into force of the Agreement, the Management Board and the Secretariat shall be empowered to adopt on behalf of the European Parliament individual decisions concerning applicants and registrants, in accordance with the interinstitutional agreement of [insert: date and reference] on a mandatory transparency register;

32.  Instructs its President to sign the Agreement with the President of the Council and the President of the Commission and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

33.  Instructs its President to forward this decision, including its Annexes, to the Council, the Commission and the parliaments of the Member States for information.

ANNEX A: INTERINSTITUTIONAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, AND THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION ON A MANDATORY TRANSPARENCY REGISTER

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 295 thereof,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, and in particular Article 106a thereof,

Whereas:

(1)  The European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission ('the signatory institutions') maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with representative associations and civil society in accordance with the Treaty on European Union (TEU), and in particular Article 11(1) and (2) thereof.

(2)  That dialogue enables stakeholders to present their views on decisions that may affect them and hence to contribute effectively to the evidence base on which policy proposals are made. Engaging with stakeholders enhances the quality of decision-making by providing channels for external views and expertise to be given.

(3)  Transparency and accountability are essential for maintaining the trust of Union citizens in the legitimacy of the political, legislative and administrative processes of the Union.

(4)  The signatory institutions recognise the importance of coordinating their approach through the adoption of a joint framework for their cooperation, in order to further promote interest representation that is transparent and ethical.

(5)  Transparency concerning interest representation is especially important in order to allow citizens to follow the activities and be aware of the potential influence of interest representatives, including influence exercised through financial support and sponsorship. Such transparency is best ensured by means of a code of conduct which contains the rules and principles to be observed by interest representatives that sign up to a transparency register (the ‘register’).

(6)  In view of the positive experience with the transparency register for organisations and self-employed individuals engaged in EU policy-making and policy implementation established by the agreement between the European Parliament and the European Commission of 16 April 2014(4) (‘the 2014 Agreement’), the signatory institutions consider that the scope of the 2014 Agreement should be expanded.

(7)  It is necessary to make the register mandatory by putting in place, by means of individual decisions adopted by each of the signatory institutions, measures of equivalent effect that make registration of interest representatives in the register a necessary precondition for carrying out certain types of interest representation activities.

(8)  In order to further strengthen the joint framework and build on the progress made in establishing a common transparency culture, the signatory institutions should publish on the website of the register conditionality and complementary transparency measures that they put in place to encourage registration, such as dedicated mailing lists, the recommendation that certain decision-makers meet only registered interest representatives, or the publication of information on meetings between certain decision-makers and interest representatives.

(9)  In order to promote this Agreement beyond the signatory institutions, it should provide for arrangements that allow Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies, other than the signatory institutions, and Member States’ permanent representations that voluntarily wish to apply the operating principles of the joint framework to benefit from the assistance of the secretariat of the register and its helpdesk support.

(10)  In order to avoid an unnecessary administrative burden and in line with current practice as regards registration, activities carried out by interest representatives exclusively on behalf of an association or network of which they are part should be considered to be activities of that network or association.

(11)  Activities of public authorities of Member States, as well as of any association or network of such public authorities that acts on their behalf at Union, national or subnational level, should not be covered by this Agreement, although associations and networks of public authorities at Union, national or subnational level engaging in interest representation activities should be allowed to register.

(12)  The practice of adopting an annual report on the functioning of the register should be maintained as a tool to ensure appropriate visibility for the coordinated approach of the signatory institutions and to bolster citizens’ trust. The scope of the annual report should be expanded to cover conditionality and complementary transparency measures put in place by the signatory institutions.

(13)  The functioning of the register should not impinge on the competences of any of the signatory institutions or affect their respective powers of internal organisation.

(14)  In the exercise of their respective powers of internal organisation, the signatory institutions should delegate to the secretariat and the management board of the register the power to act on their behalf for the adoption of individual decisions concerning applicants and registrants, in accordance with this Agreement. The signatory institutions should be co-defendants in any legal action brought before the Court of Justice of the European Union against final decisions of the management board of the register that adversely affect applicants or registrants.

(15)  The signatory institutions should act in mutual sincere cooperation in implementing this Agreement.

(16)  Any of the signatory institutions should be able to pursue other good governance and transparency policies outside the framework of this Agreement, to the extent that such policies do not interfere with the implementation of and the objectives pursued by this Agreement.

(17)  This Agreement is without prejudice to the exercise of rights under Article 11(4) TEU, concerning the European citizens' initiative, and Article 227 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union (TFEU), concerning the right to petition the European Parliament,

AGREE AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Purpose and scope

This Agreement establishes a framework and operating principles for a coordinated approach on the part of the signatory institutions as regards transparent and ethical interest representation.

By means of individual decisions taken on the basis of their powers of internal organisation, the signatory institutions agree to implement the coordinated approach referred to in the first paragraph with regard to the activities covered by this Agreement (‘covered activities’) and to set out those covered activities that they decide to make conditional upon registration in the register.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this Agreement, the following definitions apply:

(a)  'interest representative' means any natural or legal person, or formal or informal group, association or network, that engages in covered activities;

(b)  'applicant' means any interest representative that applies to be entered in the register;

(c)  'registrant' means any interest representative with an entry in the register;

(d)  'client' means any interest representative that has entered into a contractual relationship with an intermediary for the purpose of that intermediary advancing that interest representative’s interests by carrying out covered activities;

(e)  'intermediary' means any interest representative that advances the interests of a client by carrying out covered activities;

(f)  'client-intermediary relationship' means any contractual relationship between a client and an intermediary concerning the carrying out of covered activities;

(g)  'staff' means staff subject to the Staff Regulations of Officials of the European Union and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the Union, laid down in Council Regulation (EEC, Euratom, ECSC) No 259/68(5), employed by any of the signatory institutions, irrespective of the category to which they belong;

(h)  ‘conditionality’ means the principle whereby registration in the register is a necessary precondition for interest representatives to be able to carry out certain covered activities.

Article 3

Covered activities

1.  This Agreement shall cover activities carried out by interest representatives with the objective of influencing the formulation or implementation of policy or legislation, or the decision-making processes of the signatory institutions or other Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies (together referred to as ‘Union institutions’), without prejudice to Article 4.

2.  In particular, covered activities referred to in paragraph 1 include inter alia:

(a)  organising or participating in meetings, conferences or events, as well as engaging in any similar contacts with Union institutions;

(b)  contributing to or participating in consultations, hearings or other similar initiatives;

(c)  organising communication campaigns, platforms, networks and grassroots initiatives;

(d)  preparing or commissioning policy and position papers, amendments, opinion polls and surveys, open letters and other communication or information material, and commissioning and carrying out research.

Article 4

Activities not covered

1.  This Agreement shall not cover the following activities:

(a)  the provision of legal and other professional advice, where:

(i)  it consists of representing clients in the context of a conciliation or mediation procedure aimed at preventing a dispute from being brought before a judicial or administrative body;

(ii)  the advice is given to clients to help them ensure that their activities comply with the existing legal framework; or

(iii)  it consists of representing clients and safeguarding their fundamental or procedural rights, such as the right to be heard, the right to a fair trial, and the right of defence in administrative proceedings, and includes activities carried out by lawyers or by any other professionals involved in representing clients and safeguarding their fundamental or procedural rights;

(b)  making submissions as a party or a third party in the framework of a legal or administrative procedure established by Union law or by international law applicable to the Union, and submissions based on a contractual relationship with any of the signatory institutions or based on a grant agreement financed by Union funds;

(c)  activities of the social partners acting as participants in social dialogue pursuant to Article 152 TFEU;

(d)  making submissions in response to direct and specific requests from any of the Union institutions, their representatives or staff, for factual information, data or expertise;

(e)  activities carried out by natural persons acting in a strictly personal capacity and not in association with others;

(f)  spontaneous meetings, meetings of a purely private or social character and meetings taking place in the context of an administrative procedure established by the TEU or TFEU or legal acts of the Union.

2.  This Agreement shall not cover activities carried out by the following bodies:

(a)  public authorities of Member States, including their permanent representations and embassies, at national and subnational level;

(b)  associations and networks of public authorities at Union, national or subnational level, on condition that they act exclusively on behalf of the relevant public authorities;

(c)  intergovernmental organisations, including agencies and bodies emanating from them;

(d)  public authorities of third countries, including their diplomatic missions and embassies, except where such authorities are represented by legal entities, offices or networks without diplomatic status or are represented by an intermediary;

(e)  political parties, with the exception of any organisations created by or affiliated with political parties;

(f)  churches and religious associations or communities as well as philosophical and non-confessional organisations referred to in Article 17 TFEU, with the exception of offices, legal entities, or networks created to represent churches, religious communities or philosophical and non-confessional organisations in their relations with the Union institutions, as well as their associations.

Article 5

Conditionality and complementary transparency measures

1.  The signatory institutions commit to the principle of conditionality, which they shall implement by means of individual decisions on the basis of their powers of internal organisation.

2.  When adopting conditionality or complementary transparency measures to encourage registration and strengthen the joint framework established by this Agreement, the signatory institutions shall ensure that such measures are consistent with this Agreement and that they reinforce the objective of the coordinated approach referred to in Article 1, namely, to set a high standard of transparent and ethical interest representation at Union level.

3.  Conditionality and complementary transparency measures adopted by the signatory institutions shall be made public on the website of the register, which shall be regularly updated.

Article 6

Eligibility and code of conduct

1.  Applicants that submit a complete application for registration shall be eligible to be entered in the register if they carry out covered activities and observe the code of conduct set out in Annex I (‘code of conduct’).

2.  When submitting an application for registration, applicants shall provide the information listed in Annex II and shall agree to that information being made available in the public domain.

3.  Applicants may be requested to substantiate their eligibility to be entered in the register and the accuracy of the information submitted by them.

4.  The secretariat of the register (‘the Secretariat’) shall activate an applicant’s registration once the applicant’s eligibility has been established and the registration is considered to satisfy the requirements set out in Annex II.

5.  Once an applicant’s registration has been activated, the applicant shall become a registrant.

6.  The Secretariat shall monitor registrations and evaluate registrants’ ongoing eligibility and observance of the code of conduct, in accordance with the procedures set out in Annex III.

7.  The Secretariat may carry out investigations on the basis of a complaint alleging that a registrant has not observed the code of conduct, as well as on its own initiative in the light of information that the registrant may no longer satisfy the requirements for eligibility under paragraph 1.

8.  In the context of monitoring or of an investigation by the Secretariat, registrants shall in particular:

(a)  present, if requested, supporting material demonstrating that the information relating to their registration continues to be accurate; and

(b)  cooperate sincerely and constructively in accordance with the procedures set out in Annex III.

Article 7

Management Board

1.  The management board of the register (‘Management Board’) shall consist of the Secretaries-General of the signatory institutions, who shall chair it on a rotating basis for a term of one year.

2.  The Management Board shall:

(a)  oversee the overall implementation of this Agreement;

(b)  determine the annual priorities for the register as well as the budget estimates and share required for the implementation of those priorities;

(c)  issue general instructions to the Secretariat;

(d)  adopt the annual report referred to in Article 13;

(e)  examine and decide upon reasoned requests for review of the Secretariat's decisions in accordance with point 9 of Annex III.

3.  The Management Board shall meet at least annually at the initiative of its Chair. It may also meet upon the request of one of its members.

4.  The Management Board shall decide by consensus.

Article 8

Secretariat

1.  The Secretariat shall be a joint operational structure set up to manage the functioning of the register. It shall be made up of the heads of unit, or equivalent, responsible for transparency issues in each signatory institution (‘heads of unit’) and their respective staff.

2.  One of the heads of unit shall be designated to act as ‘Coordinator’ by the Management Board for a renewable term of one year. The Secretariat shall operate under the coordination of the Coordinator.

The Coordinator shall represent the Secretariat and oversee its day-to-day work, in the common interest of the signatory institutions.

3.  The Secretariat shall:

(a)  report to the Management Board, prepare its meetings and assist it in its tasks;

(b)  establish guidelines for registrants, to ensure that this Agreement is applied consistently;

(c)  decide upon the eligibility of applicants and monitor the content of the register, with the aim of achieving an optimal level of data quality in the register, on the understanding, however, that registrants are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of the information they have provided;

(d)  provide helpdesk support to applicants and registrants;

(e)  carry out investigations and apply measures in accordance with Annex III;

(f)  undertake communication and awareness-raising actions aimed at stakeholders;

(g)  draft the annual report referred to in Article 13;

(h)  be responsible for IT development and maintenance of the register;

(i)  exchange best practice and experience with similar bodies concerning the transparency of interest representation;

(j)  carry out any other activities necessary for the implementation of this Agreement.

4.  The Secretariat shall decide by consensus of the heads of unit.

Article 9

Empowerment

The Management Board and the Secretariat shall carry out the tasks assigned to them pursuant to Articles 7 and 8 and, in carrying out those tasks, shall be empowered to adopt decisions on behalf of the signatory institutions.

Article 10

Resources

1.  The signatory institutions shall ensure that the necessary human, administrative, technical and financial resources are made available, including adequate staffing for the Secretariat, so as to ensure that implementation of this Agreement is effective.

2.  Without prejudice to point (b) of Article 7(2) and taking into due consideration the different size of the institutions’ establishment plans, the signatory institutions shall take the necessary steps to finance the maintenance, development and promotion of the register.

Article 11

Voluntary involvement of Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies, other than the signatory institutions

1.  Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies, other than the signatory institutions, may notify the Management Board of measures by means of which they decide to make certain activities conditional upon registration in the register, or of any complementary transparency measures that they take.

2.  Where the Management Board considers that the measures referred to in paragraph 1 are consistent with the objectives pursued by this Agreement, it may, with the Union institution, body, office or agency concerned, agree conditions under which that institution, body, office or agency may benefit from the Secretariat's assistance and helpdesk support. Any measures notified under paragraph 1 shall be published on the website of the register.

Article 12

Voluntary involvement of Member States' permanent representations

Member States may notify the Management Board of measures taken, in accordance with national law, by means of which they decide to make certain activities targeting their permanent representations conditional upon registration in the register, or of any complementary transparency measures that they take. Any measures so notified shall be published on the website of the register.

Article 13

Annual report

1.  The Management Board shall adopt an annual report on the functioning of the register during the preceding year.

2.  The annual report shall include:

(a)  a chapter on factual information on the register, its content and any changes concerning the register;

(b)  a chapter on the conditionality and complementary transparency measures, referred to in Article 5, which are in force.

3.  The Management Board shall submit the annual report to the signatory institutions and shall ensure that it is published on the website of the register.

Article 14

Review

1.  The signatory institutions shall assess the implementation of measures taken pursuant to Article 5 by ... [one year after the date of entry into force of this Agreement], and regularly thereafter, with a view, where appropriate, to making recommendations on the improvement and reinforcement of such measures.

2.  This Agreement shall be subject to a review no later than ... [four years after the date of entry into force of this Agreement].

Article 15

Final and transitional provisions

1.  This Agreement shall be of a binding nature for the signatory institutions.

2.  For the purposes of Article 9, each signatory institution commits to adopting a decision which shall read as follows:

“The Management Board and the Secretariat shall be empowered to adopt on behalf of the [insert: name of the institution] individual decisions concerning applicants and registrants, in accordance with the Interinstitutional Agreement of [insert: date and reference] on a mandatory transparency register.”.

Those decisions shall enter into force on the date of entry into force of this Agreement.

3.  This Agreement shall replace the 2014 Agreement, the effects of which shall cease to apply from the date of entry into force of this Agreement.

4.  This Agreement shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

5.  Registrants who were entered in the register before the date of entry into force of this Agreement shall, for a period of six months from the date of entry into force of this Agreement, be entitled to amend their registration to satisfy the new requirements resulting from this Agreement in order to remain on the register.

6.  Any investigations of alerts or complaints opened under the 2014 Agreement shall be carried out in accordance with the procedure laid down in that Agreement.

Done at [place], [date].

For the European Parliament For the Council For the Commission

The President The President The President

ANNEX I

CODE OF CONDUCT

Registrants shall operate in line with the rules and principles set out in this Annex. In particular, registrants shall:

(a)  in their relations with any of the signatory institutions and other Union institutions, bodies, offices or agencies (together referred to as ‘Union institutions’), always identify themselves by name, by registration number and by the entity or entities they work for or represent;

(b)  declare the interests and objectives they promote, and specify the clients or members whom they represent as well as, where applicable, the registration number of those clients or members;

(c)  not obtain or try to obtain information or decisions dishonestly or by use of undue pressure, improper behaviour or offensive language;

(d)  not abuse their registration for commercial gain or distort or misrepresent the effect of registration;

(e)  not damage the reputation of the register or cause prejudice to the Union institutions or use their logos without express authorisation;

(f)  ensure that the information that they provide upon registration, and subsequently administer in the framework of their covered activities, is complete, up-to-date, accurate and not misleading, and agree to that information being made available in the public domain;

(g)  respect, and avoid obstructing the implementation and application of, the relevant publicly available rules, codes and guidelines established by the Union institutions;

(h)  not induce Members of the European Parliament, members of the Commission or staff of the Union institutions to contravene the rules and standards of behaviour applicable to them;

(i)  if employing former Members of the European Parliament, members of the Commission or staff of the Union institutions, take the confidentiality requirements and rules applicable to those individuals after leaving the respective institution duly into account, with a view to preventing conflicts of interest;

(j)  where engaged in a client-intermediary relationship:

(i)  ensure that the parties in such a relationship are entered in the register; and

(ii)  as clients or intermediaries, ensure that the relevant information concerning the relationship entered in the register pursuant to Annex II is published;

(k)  where, for the purpose of carrying out covered activities, they outsource certain tasks to third parties that are not themselves registered, ensure that such parties adhere to ethical standards that are at least equivalent to those that apply to registrants;

(l)  present to the Secretariat, if requested, supporting material demonstrating their eligibility and the accuracy of the information submitted, and cooperate sincerely and constructively with the Secretariat;

(m)  acknowledge that they may be subject to the investigation procedures and, where applicable, measures provided for in Annex III;

(n)  take appropriate steps to ensure that any of their employees engaged in covered activities are informed about their commitment as registrants to observe this code of conduct;

(o)  inform the clients or members they represent in the framework of covered activities of their commitment as registrants to observe this code of conduct;

(p)  respect, and avoid obstructing, the specific access and security rules and arrangements established by the signatory institutions.

ANNEX II

INFORMATION TO BE ENTERED IN THE REGISTER

This Annex sets out the information that shall be available in the register. That information shall be provided by applicants or, as the case may be, registrants, except where it is entered automatically.

I.  GENERAL INFORMATION

(a)  name of the entity; address of the head office and the office in charge of relations with the Union, if different from the head office; phone number; e-mail address(6); website;

(b)  form of the entity;

(c)  interests represented;

(d)  confirmation that the applicant operates in accordance with the code of conduct;

(e)  name of the person legally responsible for the entity and of the person in charge of relations with the Union;

(f)  an annual estimate of the full-time equivalents for the persons involved in covered activities according to the following percentages of a full-time activity: 10 %, 25 %, 50 %, 75 % or 100 %;

(g)  goals, remit, fields of interest and geographical level of engagement;

(h)  organisations of which the registrant is a member and entities with which the registrant is affiliated;

(i)  registrant's members and/or affiliation with relevant networks and associations.

II.  LINKS TO UNION INSTITUTIONS

(a)  Union legislative proposals, policies or initiatives targeted by the covered activities;

(b)  membership of Commission expert groups(7) and other Union supported forums and platforms;

(c)  membership or support of, or participation in, intergroups and other unofficial grouping activities organised on the European Parliament’s premises;

(d)  names of persons with authorisation to access the European Parliament’s premises(8).

III.  FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Registrants, including intermediaries, shall declare the amount and source of any Union grants contributing to their operating costs. The amounts declared shall be in euros.

(a)  Registrants promoting their own interests or the collective interests of their members vis-à-vis any of the signatory institutions shall provide an up-to-date estimate of the annual costs related to covered activities according to the grid below. The estimate of annual costs shall cover a full year of operations and refer to the most recent financial year closed, as of the date of registration or the date of the annual update of the registration details.

Bracket size of annual costs, in euros:

< 10 000

10 000 – 24 999

25 000 – 49 999

50 000 – 99 999

100 000 – 199 999

200 000 – 299 999

300 000 – 399 999

400 000 – 499 999

500 000 – 599 999

600 000 – 699 999

700 000 – 799 999

800 000 – 899 999

900 000 – 999 999

1 000 000 – 1 249 999

1 250 000 – 1 499 999

1 500 000 – 1 749 999

1 750 000 – 1 999 999

2 000 000 – 2 249 999

2 250 000 – 2 499 999

2 500 000 – 2 749 999

2 750 000 – 2 999 999

3 000 000 – 3 499 999

3 500 000 – 3 999 999

4 000 000 – 4 499 999

4 500 000 – 4 999 999

5 000 000 – 5 499 999

5 500 000 – 5 999 999

6 000 000 – 6 499 999

6 500 000 – 6 999 999

7 000 000 – 7 999 999

8 000 000 – 8 999 999

9 000 000 – 9 999 999

≥ 10 000 000

Clients shall declare the intermediaries carrying out covered activities on their behalf and the cost for each individual intermediary according to the grid below. The estimate of annual costs shall cover a full year of operations and refer to the most recent financial year closed, as of the date of registration or the date of the annual update of the registration details.

Any current intermediaries that are not covered by the most recent financial year closed shall be declared separately by name.

Bracket size of representation costs per intermediary, in euros:

< 10 000

10 000 – 24 999

25 000 – 49 999

50 000 – 99 999

100 000 – 199 999

200 000 – 299 999

300 000 – 399 999

400 000 – 499 999

500 000 – 599 999

600 000 – 699 999

700 000 – 799 999

800 000 – 899 999

900 000 – 999 999

≥ 1 000 000

(b)  Intermediaries shall declare the estimated total annual revenue generated that is attributable to covered activities according to the grid below. The estimated total annual revenue generated shall cover a full year of operations and refer to the most recent financial year closed, as of the date of registration or the date of the annual update of the registration details.

Revenue from individual clients for covered activities shall also be listed according to the grid below, accompanied by an indication of the Union legislative proposals, policies or initiatives targeted by the covered activities:

Bracket size of revenue generated per client, in euros:

< 10 000

10 000 – 24 999

25 000 – 49 999

50 000 – 99 999

100 000 – 199 999

200 000 – 299 999

300 000 – 399 999

400 000 – 499 999

500 000 – 599 999

600 000 – 699 999

700 000 – 799 999

800 000 – 899 999

900 000 – 999 999

≥1 000 000

The estimated total annual revenue generated for covered activities shall be calculated automatically by the register based on the aggregate of the estimated revenue generated per client.

Intermediaries shall declare on the register the clients on behalf of whom covered activities are carried out.

Any current clients that are not covered by the most recent financial year closed shall be declared on the register separately by name.

(c)  Registrants that do not represent commercial interests shall provide the following financial information:

(i)  their total budget for the most recent financial year closed;

(ii)  their main sources of funding by category: Union funding, public financing, grants, donations, their members’ contributions etc.;

(iii)  the amount of each contribution they received exceeding 10 % of their total budget, if the contributions are above EUR 10 000, and the name of the contributor.

ANNEX III

MONITORING, INVESTIGATIONS AND MEASURES

1.  General principles

1.1.  The Secretariat may open an investigation on the basis of a complaint alleging that a registrant has not observed the code of conduct (‘non-observance’) as well as on its own initiative in the light of information that the registrant may be ineligible.

1.2.  An investigation is an administrative procedure involving the Secretariat and the registrant concerned, as well as, where the investigation was not opened on the Secretariat’s own initiative, the third party that lodged the complaint (‘complainant’).

1.3.  When an investigation has been opened, the Secretariat may suspend the registration concerned as a precaution. The Secretariat shall immediately inform the registrant concerned of its decision to suspend the registration, providing a reasoned explanation for its decision.

2.  Admissibility of complaints

2.1.  Any natural or legal person may lodge a complaint with the Secretariat concerning a registrant’s alleged non-observance. Complaints shall be submitted in writing. In order to be admissible, the complaint shall:

(a)  identify the registrant concerned and clearly set out the details of the complaint;

(b)  provide the name and contact details of the complainant;

(c)  be lodged within one year of the alleged non-observance;

(d)  be supported by evidence demonstrating a reasonable probability of non-observance.

2.2.  Where a complaint is inadmissible, the Secretariat shall notify the complainant accordingly, providing a reasoned explanation for its decision.

3.  Complaints procedure

3.1.  Following receipt of an admissible complaint, the Secretariat shall open an investigation and notify the complainant and the registrant concerned.

3.2.  The registrant concerned shall receive a copy of the complaint, including any annexes, and be asked to provide a reasoned response within 20 working days.

3.3.  The Secretariat shall take into account any reasoned response received under point 3.2, gather any relevant information, and draft a report on its findings.

3.4.  Where the report finds that the registrant concerned has not observed the code of conduct, the Secretariat shall notify the registrant accordingly. That notification may also contain:

(a)  instructions to remedy the non-observance within 20 working days of receipt of the notification; and

(b)  a formal warning that measures may be taken if the non-observance is not remedied or recurs.

3.5.  The Secretariat shall declare the registrant concerned eligible to remain on the register and close the investigation, where one of the following applies:

(a)  the alleged non-observance primarily concerns point (f) of the code of conduct and is remedied within 20 working days of receipt of the notification under point 3.1;

(b)  the report finds that the registrant has observed the code of conduct;

(c)  the registrant remedies the non-observance after being notified under point (a) of point 3.4;

(d)  a formal warning under point (b) of point 3.4 is deemed sufficient.

3.6.  The Secretariat shall declare the registrant concerned ineligible and close the investigation, where the report finds that the registrant has not observed the code of conduct and one of the following applies:

(a)  the registrant has not remedied the non-observance after being notified under point (a) of point 3.4;

(b)  a formal warning under point (b) of point 3.4 is deemed insufficient.

3.7.  Once the Secretariat has drafted its report, it shall provide the registrant concerned with a copy of that report upon request.

4.  Monitoring and own-initiative investigations

4.1.  The Secretariat may request that registrants amend their registrations where it has reason to believe that those registrations do not accurately provide the information specified in Annex II.

4.2.  Where a request under point 4.1 is made, the Secretariat may suspend the registration concerned as a precaution.

4.3.  Where the registrant concerned does not cooperate sincerely and constructively, the Secretariat may remove from the register a registration that is subject to a request under point 4.1.

4.4.  The Secretariat may open an investigation on its own initiative in the light of information that a registrant may be ineligible.

4.5.  Where the Secretariat opens an investigation on its own initiative, it shall notify the registrant concerned and ask the registrant to provide a reasoned response within 20 working days.

4.6.  The Secretariat shall take into account any reasoned response received under point 4.5, gather any relevant information, and draft a report on its findings..

4.7.  Where the report finds that the registrant concerned is ineligible, the Secretariat shall notify the registrant accordingly. That notification may also contain:

(a)  instructions to remedy the ineligibility within 20 working days of receipt of the notification; and

(b)  a formal warning that measures may be imposed if the ineligibility is not remedied or recurs.

4.8.  The Secretariat shall declare the registrant concerned eligible and close the investigation, where one of the following applies:

(a)  the investigation primarily concerns a suspected absence of covered activities and the registrant concerned demonstrates, within 20 working days of receipt of the notification under point 4.5, that they carry out covered activities;

(b)  the report finds that the registrant is eligible;

(c)  the registrant remedies the ineligibility after being notified under point (a) of point 4.7;

(d)  a formal warning under point (b) of point 4.7 is deemed sufficient.

4.9.  The Secretariat shall declare the registrant concerned ineligible and close the investigation where the investigation primarily concerns a suspected absence of covered activities and the registrant concerned does not demonstrate, within 20 working days of receipt of the notification under point 4.5, that they carry out covered activit