Post COVID-19: Give priority to research and innovation

President's position on the discussion on the EU financial framework for the years 2021 to 2027 with recovery plan

June 03, 2020

According to the European Commission's current proposal of 27th May 2020 up to 1.85 trillion Euros is to be spent in future on the EU budget 2021 to 2027 including the "Next Generation EU" reconstruction plan as a result of the Corona crisis. The figures are ambitious. The increase in funds from the "Next Generation EU" plan for health research, the "Green Deal" and the digital future is welcome. Research in Europe will be able to benefit from this. But let's not forget: further efforts by the Member States are needed, as the vast majority of EU countries are far from the agreed target of investing three percent of their Gross Domestic Product in R&I.

The EU Council and the EU Parliament should now be encouraged to further strengthen their commitment to a sustainably structured European Research Area in which solidarity and competition are living European values by expanding the funding instruments in Horizon Europe. The successes of the previous European Research Programmes must be continued through European programmes such as the European Research Council (ERC), the opening of Europe-wide career paths, the networking and cooperation of research institutions, a cross-programme quality orientation or the strengthening of promising research regions in Europe.

The Max Planck Society therefore supports the European Parliament's demand to considerably increase the budget of Horizon Europe beyond the European Commission's proposal, especially in view of the corona pandemic. Europe cannot afford to do without the potential of well-trained researchers or even to fall behind in the global competition in research at the highest level.

Even in difficult times, the priority must be to give priority to funding research and innovation. Our joint knowledge base is Europe's raw material and is an indispensable prerequisite for competitiveness, growth and jobs.

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