Impact the budget (MFF) negotiations related to the next Framework Programme 9 (FP9) on Research and Innovation of the European Union;
Propose concrete solutions for larger intake of the interest and possible participation in this trans-European programme;
Influence the implementation of FP9 in a multi-level fashion;
Take stock, analyse and make suggestions to the novel ideas proposed by the EC, particularly as regards synergies, missions, the European Innovation Council and partnerships;
Provide a basis for discussion and influence with our partners from the Council, EP and different DGs of the EC.
*In sum and as two critical points:
In order for the EU to maximize its potential in the field of research and innovation (R&I), FP9 must close the research and innovation gap between Member States and between regions. To this end, local entities should be fully involved in the strategic planning and implementation of such policies;
In order to boost its competiveness and cohesion,that Horizon 2020 and its successor Horizon Europe, the third largest EU-funded programme dedicated to R&I, should strengthen ties with regional smart specialization strategies (S3) and try to develop meaningful synergies with other EU programmes and with national and regional funding instruments.
The reports of the two main FP9 rapporteurs of the EP, Mr Dan Nica (RO/S&D) and Mr Christian Ehler (DE/EPP), included around 10 (together) direct proposals and texts put forward by the CoR rapporteur Christophe Clergeau (FR/PES). Mr Dan Nica also participated in the final debates during the adoption of the CoR opinion on 9 October in Brussels.
More than 40 amendments submitted to both ITRE rapporteurs made references to the role of LRAs and some of them were clearly inspired by the CoR opinion and the direct meetings the MEPs had with CoR rapporteur Clergeau over the summer 2018. For instance, the REGI committee shadow rapporteur on Horizon Europe (FP9), Mr Van Nistelrooj, included texts having been suggested by the CoR in his report.
The Council Working Group on R&I and DG RTD (as well as REGIO, JRC and GROW) were informed about the content of the CoR FP9 opinion and welcomed its content and scope. The AT Presidency was also updated directly by the CoR rapporteur.
It is worth noting that the latest R&I opinion of Birgitta Sacrédeus (SE/EPP) builds on the conclusion of this (FP9) and previous recent opinion on H2020 (FP8) by the same rapporteur (Clergeau).
On 16 January 2019, the rapporteur will meet with DG REGIO, in order to discuss the follow-up to his opinion and possible synergies with structural funds.
The RO presidency of the EU was also approached in early Dec. 2018 in view of a possible meeting on the FP9 file in early 2019.
July-August 2019: 5 CoR rapporteurs (Clergeau, Markkula, Sacredeus, Dooley and Irujo Amezaga) produced a joint letter regarding the strategic planning and implementation of Horizon Europe. The EC and EP were informed about the main points of this letter.
On 24-26 September 2019, the rapporteur (Clergeau) and his expert took part in the EU R&I DAYS. Their position was well-covered by subsequent EC documents and the specialised press.
On 6 Nov. 2019 a major European University Association conference on R&I ecosystems was organised, where rapporteurs Markku Markkula and Christophe Clergeau spoke on behalf of the CoR.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
Considers that the level of resources allocated to Horizon Europe is satisfactory in the current budgetary context, and that only a major increase in the Union budget could justify a reassessment, which should then be concentrated on Pillar III and the section on Strengthening the European Research Area;
Is concerned at the risk of inequalities growing between cities and regions that benefit hugely from the framework programme for research and innovation, and whose budgets will increase, and the others, who will suffer the consequences of the fall in cohesion policy budgets;
Emphasises the progress made on taking account of local and regional innovation in Horizon Europe, but is disappointed to note the ongoing refusal to recognise the territorial roots of scientific excellence, the contribution of regional ecosystems and innovation hubs to the EU’s dynamics, and the role of local and regional authorities in the planning and implementation of research and innovation policies;
Calls strongly for the full participation of local and regional authorities in the strategic planning exercise that will guide the implementation of Horizon Europe, and for smart specialisation strategies to be taken into account in this context;
Fully supports new European partnerships and co-financed actions, which could become the main funding tools for trans-regional cooperation and programmes run by consortia of regional ecosystem and innovation hubs (a process to connect territories); calls for a significant proportion of the Horizon Europe programme to be implemented through these arrangements, in particular under Pillars II and III;
- Considers it essential to provide a precise framework for the synergies between the different funds and the framework programme around a 5C principle (coherence, complementarity, compatibility, co-construction, recognition of local stakeholder collectives); emphasises the crucial importance of an effective co-construction-based approach, in particular to establish the Seal of Excellence.