Outcomes of the EU Competitiveness Council in May


During the last meeting of the Belgian Presidency of the EU Council, ministers discussed advanced materials or EuroHPC.

On 23 May 2024, the Competitiveness Council met in Brussels to focus on research and innovation. It was chaired by Belgian Minister Willy Borsus and attended by Commissioners Iliana Ivanova and Thierry Breton on behalf of the European Commission.  

Ministers focused on research and innovation in advanced materials. They discussed strengthening cooperation, setting priorities and sharing best practices. The European Commission issued a Communication on Advanced Materials for Industrial Leadership, which formed the basis for this policy debate

Among the main outcomes of the meeting, a political agreement was reached to amend the Regulation establishing the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC), known as the "AI Factories Act", which will extend support to innovative AI startups and ecosystems. In addition, the Council adopted a recommendation on strengthening research security, addressing geopolitical risks such as unwanted knowledge transfer and foreign interference. Council conclusions on promoting the valorisation of research knowledge to enhance industrial and economic resilience were also endorsed. 

CZELO_2024_Competitiveness Council

An important item on the agenda was the adoption of the conclusions on the ex-post evaluation of Horizon 2020, focusing on its scientific, societal and economic impact, and on the preparation of the next Framework Programme.   

In addition to the research part, the Council also focused on space. Ministers discussed the forthcoming EU legal framework for space, highlighting challenges such as orbital congestion, cybersecurity risks, environmental impacts and dependence on non-EU technologies. They also discussed some of the items for the joint EU/ESA Space Council meeting on the same day, or, for example, how a competitive European space sector can address socio-economic challenges and strengthen its position in the world.  

The Hungarian delegation then outlined the work programme of the upcoming Council Presidency in the field of research, which will start on 1 July 2024.