Horizon 2020 debates in the European Parliament continue
On 18 June 2012, the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) held a debate on Horizon 2020 and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
Among the more general issues discussed was the need to promote excellence in research, to have open access to research results and transparency in the progress and status of research results.
Maria Da Graça Carvalho (EPP, Portugal), rapporteur for the proposal for a Council decision establishing the Specific Programme Implementing Horizon 2020 - The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014 – 2020), has introduced in the Parliament report references to biomedical research.
The multiple references recognize that health research needs to be coordinated and that improved use of technological and infrastructural resources by the entire biomedical community should be utilized. The amendment further calls for the setting up of a high-level scientific advisory board for health research which should help define biomedical research and promote translational research.
Françoise Grossetête (EPP, France) suggested during the debates that Horizon 2020 did not have a large enough focus on health and called for addressing this. This perception has also been shared by Mrs. Carvalho herself and other leading MEPs that considered that the research in health was not sufficiently developed.
In terms of timing, the European Parliament is currently discussing the Commission proposals for Horizon 2020 published in November 2011. The European Parliament’s Committee on Industry Research and Energy (ITRE) is the Committee in charge of drafting the European Parliament report on the Commission proposals. In this sense, a rapporteur has been appointed for each of the Commission proposals and the rest of Members of the European Parliament have input the different dossiers by tabling amendments.
The ITRE Committee will be voting on these amendments and on the final reports on 09 October 2012, and then will forward the texts to the Plenary Assembly of the Parliament, expected in September. The European Parliament reports will be then forwarded to the Council of Ministers of the EU and the European Commission for further discussions. Overall, the future Horizon 2020 is expected to be finally adopted both by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers in late 2013 and will effective as of 1st January 2014.