On 10 November, the European Parliament and EU governments announced a deal on the 2021-2027 budget and on the COVID-19 recovery package. Compared with the previous budget draft, the deal provides additional funding to a series of EU programmes, including €4bn for Horizon Europe and €2.2bn for Erasmus+. The deal requires final approval from EU members and European Parliament; should this be granted, the EU will return to increase investments in its Horizon flagship programme.
Eurodoc welcomes this result and the renewed EU commitment to science and research. This was made possible by a grassroot campaign coordinated by Initiative for Science in Europe and that involved all the major associations of early career researchers (Eurodoc, Young Academy of Europe, Marie Curie Alumni Association). Thousands of European researchers worked together to make their voices heard within the European policymaking institutions, and this finally paid off in terms of more funding and a renewed attention to science and research.
At the same time, we cannot be satisfied with a budget that provides Horizon Europe a marginal increase on the Horizon 2020 budget. In 2017, 2018, and 2019 Eurodoc and other early career researchers organizations called for a €120bn budget for science as the lower threshold to sustain EU ambitions on scientific research, and that call was supported by the European Parliament. The current budget represents a 30% cut on EU scientific ambitions, in a scenario where a global pandemic heavily impacted early career researchers and EU research programmes, while institutions are unable to ensure paid extensions for research grants and projects.
Eurodoc will continue to fight for research-oriented policies and to give voice to early career researchers concerns.