Developing Horizon Europe

The Commission's proposal for Horizon Europe is an ambitious €100 billion research and innovation programme to succeed Horizon 2020.

Read about the proposal and what shaped it

The European Parliament and the Council of the EU reached in March and April 2019 a provisional agreement on Horizon Europe. The European Parliament endorsed the provisional agreement on 17 April 2019.

Presentation outlining Horizon Europe in 23 languages.

Implementing Horizon Europe - strategic planning

Following the political agreement, the Commission has begun a strategic planning process.

The result of the process will be set out in a multiannual Strategic Plan to prepare the content in the work programmes and calls for proposal for the first 4 years of Horizon Europe.

The strategic planning process will focus in particular on the Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness pillar of Horizon Europe. It will also cover the Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area part of the programme as well as relevant activities in other pillars.

    Image describing the preliminary structure of Horizon Europe. 3 pillars - Excellent science, global challenges and industrial competitiveness and innovative europe. Preliminary structure of Horizon Europe

    The process will identify, among other things

    • key areas for research and innovation support and their targeted impact
    • European partnerships
    • missions
    • areas of international cooperation

    Missions in Horizon Europe

    Horizon Europe will incorporate research and innovation missions to increase the effectiveness of funding by pursuing clearly defined targets. 

    The Commission has engaged policy experts to develop studies, case studies and reports on how a mission-oriented policy approach will work.

    Read more about the Commission's mission-oriented approach and download the studies that shaped it

    Mission areas

    5 mission areas have been identified, each with a dedicated mission board and assembly. They will help specify, design and implement specific missions in Horizon Europe. 

    Mission area: Adaptation to climate change including societal transformation

    Mission area: Cancer

    Mission area: Climate-neutral and smart cities

    Mission area: Healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters

    Mission area: Soil health and food

    European partnerships in Horizon Europe

    Horizon Europe will support European partnerships with EU countries, the private sector, foundations and other stakeholders. The aim is to deliver on global challenges and industrial modernisation through concerted research and innovation efforts.

    The Horizon Europe proposal lays down the conditions and principles for establishing European Partnerships. 3 types are proposed.

    Co-programmed European Partnerships

    Between the Commission and private and/or public partners. Based on memoranda of understanding and/or contractual arrangements

    Co-funded European Partnerships using a programme co-fund action

    Partnerships involving EU countries, with research funders and other public authorities at the core of the consortium.

    Institutionalised European Partnerships

    These are partnerships where the EU participates in research and innovation funding programmes that are undertaken by a number of EU countries. They are based on article 185 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) which allows the EU to participate in such programmes.

    These can also be public-private partnerships established under Article 187 TFEU, such as joint undertakings or EIT Knowledge and Innovation Communities.

    These partnerships will only be implemented where other parts of the Horizon Europe programme would not achieve the objectives desired or expected impacts.

    Impact assessments

    Impact assessments are needed to justify new legislation as part of the Commission's better regulation agenda.

    The outcomes of these impact assessments and the strategic planning process will influence the identification of possible partnerships.

    For institutionalised partnerships, the Commission has published inception impact assessments. These can be found on the Have your say website.

    An open public consultation covering institutionalised partnerships based on Articles 185 and 187 TFEU will be published in early September.

    Adoption timeline

    • 2 May 2018

      The Commission adopts its proposal for the next EU long-term budget (MFF)

    • 7 June 2018

      The Commission adopts its proposal for Horizon Europe

    • 2019-2020

      The Council and European Parliament negotiate and subsequently adopt the programme

    • 1 January 2021

      Horizon Europe is launched