Research: reach the Horizon2020 funding target; final vote on a R&D partnership  

Press Releases 
Plenary session 
  • Reach the 3% EU’s GDP target in R&D
  • An increased overall budget of EUR 120 billion for FP9;
  • EUR 220 000 000 for R&D in agro-food systems and water management in the Mediterranean area 

MEPs gave the final vote on Tuesday to an assessment of the Horizon2020 program and to a partnership for R&D in the Mediterranean area.

In a non-legislative resolution passed on Tuesday with 523 votes to 65 and 81 abstentions, MEPs presented their assessment of the Horizont2020 programme:


  • Horizon2020 must be primarily grant-based;
  • A balanced mix of small, medium and large-sized projects should be offered;
  • No more cuts to the Horizon2020 budget should be made;
  • The funding target of 3% EU’s GDP in R&D should be reached; in 2015, the investments were of 2.03%, with ranges between 0.46% and 3.36% among member states;
  • ‘Excellence’ should remain the essential evaluation criterion, ‘impact’ should include economic and social effects,


and made some recommendations for the FP9 proposal:


  • An increased overall budget of EUR 120 billion for FP9;
  • The reintroduction of the two stage evaluation;
  • Separation of defence research from civil research in the next MFF, providing two different programs with two different budgets;
  • Priority to funding for climate change research and climate data collection infrastructure.



International cooperation in the field of R&D - PRIMA partnership


With 607 votes to 39 and 3 abstentions, MEPs gave the final approval to a deal with the Council concerning the partnership for R&D in the Mediterranean area, involving 14 participating EU states and third countries, aimed to enhance common innovative solutions for agro-food systems and water management.


The EU financial contribution to this programme is EUR 220 000 000 (from Horizon2020 budget), with at least EUR 220 000 000 additional funding from the participating states, financing transnational projects to be evaluated by at least three independent experts, based on the criteria of excellence, impact, and quality and efficiency of the implementation.

The world's biggest R&D programme must continue to be financially strengthened and its structure should be consistent and simpler. The efforts to make Europe a region of excellence should not only come from the EU; Member States and the industry (or the private sector) should aim to reach the target of a 3% GDP for R&D by 2020.

Soledad Cabezón Ruiz (S&D, ES), rapporteur for the Assessment of Horizon2020 

Access to water, food and sanitation is of utmost economic, political and social importance in the Mediterranean region. Our proposal include inter alia the focus of PRIMA on political and non-military actions, the respect of fundamental rights, supporting R&D, ensuring access to water for everyone, ensuring the right balance between small and large projects and safeguarding transparency.

Sofia Sakorafa (GUE/NGL, EL), rapporteur for the PRIMA partnership