Friday, 28 June 2013

Horizon 2020 agreed

The European Parliament and the Council of Ministers have agreed both Horizon 2020 and the overall EU budget, so the new programme can be introduced on schedule at the start of 2014.

Compromises between the two sides which led to the agreement include:

* about €2.8bn (4% of the total budget) reserved for the new SME instrument
* €0.7bn (1%) reserved for measures to increase EU12 (newer Member States) participation in H2020
* Overheads limited to 25% of direct costs (no option for real overheads)
* Time to grant reduced to eight months (12 on average in FP7, but in 2012 close to nine months)
* A pilot run of a “fast track to innovation” funding scheme (details to be worked out).

And, of course, greater acceptance of participants’ own accounting rules, but nobody believes that will ever happen!

Singleimage - FP7 Training Workshops and Advice

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Horizon 2020 slips some more

Horizon 2020 is one of many components of the EU budget for 2014-2020. While the Council of Ministers, representing the EU member states, has agreed the overall budget, the European Parliament rejected it in March. At that time, agreement was forecast for the end of May. For comparison, the corresponding budget for the FP7 period (2007-2013) was agreed in April 2006.

The disagreement now rests on the difference between commitments – how much the European Commission (EC) is allowed to contract to spend – and actual payments, which happen later and are typically 5% lower. Both the Parliament and the EC would like the two numbers to be equal, increasing the budget for payments. Meeting in late May, the Council refused to change their decision. Further meetings between the three bodies will be held at the beginning of June, meaning any decision by the parliament cannot be taken before the first week in July.

Singleimage - FP7 Training Workshops and Advice