©Luis de Diego
©Luis de Diego

Horizon Europe 2021-2027: what place for culture?

On 20 March, the EU member states agreed on the European research priorities for 2021-2027. This is going to be the most ambitious EU research and innovation programme ever, but budget not yet agreed. Parliament wants an ambitious budget of €120 billion. At least 35 % of Horizon Europe budget shall go to climate-related research. There are new thematic strands included, such as support for social sciences and humanities, as well as the creative sectors.

There is broader support to SMEs, including start-ups, compared to the Commission's proposal, with at least 70% of the budget of the newly created European Innovation Council to be dedicated to SMEs and the possibility to support them through grants only, in line with the position of the European Parliament.

A total of five mission areas (adaptation to climate change, cancer, healthy oceans, climate-neutral and smart cities, food and soil health) and eight partnership areas were agreed. Horizon Europe will also introduce new intervention areas, including support for social sciences and humanities (SSH), as well as cultural and creative sectors, through a dedicated cluster on "Culture, creativity and inclusive society": "Strengthening democratic values, including rule of law and fundamental rights, safeguarding our cultural heritage, exploring the potential of cultural and creative sectors,and promoting socio-economic transformations that contribute to inclusion and growth, including migration management and integration of migrants. Areas of intervention: Democracy and governance; Culture, cultural heritage and creativity; Social and economic transformations." 

This is the first time that cultural and creative sectors are that extensively integrated in the EU programme for research. 

Next steps

The provisional deal will now have to be adopted by Parliament’s Committee for Industry, Research and Energy and Plenary as well as the Council. Once the Council has agreed on the size of the overall budget, the next European Parliament will negotiate on the outstanding issues related to Horizon Europe with member states.

More information