On 27 April 2021, the Members of the European Parliament had their final say on the EU's 2021–2027 research and innovation programme – Horizon Europe. The Plenary gave its approval to the agreement with the Council with 677 votes to 5 and 17 abstentions (Horizon Europe regulation) and 661 votes to 5 and 33 abstentions (Horizon Europe specific programme).
After the approval of the Parliament and the prior approval of the Council, the legal texts can be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Thereafter, the Commission may publish the work programs and award funding to successful project proposals. The publication of the first calls for proposals under Horizon Europe is expected for end of May.
On the same day, Parliament agreed on the updated strategic research and innovation agenda of the European Institute of Technology (EIT). The new EIT priorities for the 2021–2027 period will be to contribute to the realisation of EU objectives and policies such as the European Green Deal, the European post-COVID recovery plan, strategies for small businesses and industry, the Union’s strategic autonomy and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The provisions will give more flexibility for KICs working on the COVID-19 recovery, broaden the geographical coverage of KICs, bridge the funding gap between western and eastern EU Members States, and bring a stronger focus on projects involving small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
More information can be found in the press release of the European Parliament.