#FORATOM – 93 European associations call on EU to give top priority to research and innovation

| September 20, 2019
93 European associations, including FORATOM, have issued a joint statement urging EU institutions to create an ambitious Horizon Europe Programme and treat research and innovation (R&I) as a priority under the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027. To this end, the signatories call for the allocation of at least €120 billion to the Horizon Europe programme to help Europe address many of the current challenges.

In the statement, the signatories underline that Europe needs to build on the success of the Horizon 2020 programme, scale up the investments made so far and agree on a budget that paves the way for Europe to deliver on the key societal challenges of today and tomorrow. Such an approach would allow the European Union to maintain its global innovation leadership.

“This statement, signed by almost 100 European associations, rightly notes that we need to work together within the European Union to address the current challenges facing Europe and deliver on the agreed Sustainable Development Goals,” said FORATOM Director General Yves Desbazeille. “We are honoured to participate in this initiative as we share the view that Europe needs to invest significantly more in pan-European R&I collaboration, part of which should support the development of low-carbon technologies such as nuclear.”

The signatories of the joint statement call for Horizon Europe to focus on delivering the following:

  • Boost Europe’s future growth, employment and competitiveness;
  • secure Europe’s seat amongst the frontrunners of the technological revolution, and;
  • develop and scale up the technologies that will power the continent in the 21st century.

In order to achieve these goals, the associations encourage the EU Institutions to allocate at least a 60% Horizon Europe’s total budget to pillar II “Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness”. This will enable the building of long-term partnerships among the various European R&I actors, reduce uncertainty and stimulate business investment in Europe.

These objectives are in line with FORATOM’s recommendations towards EU R&I projects. In its recent position paper, the association underlines the importance of receiving a higher level of financial support from the EU and allocating these funds to those areas which provide the most added value, ensuring long-term partnerships for cross-sectoral innovation.

“It makes absolute sense that the Horizon Europe implementation strategy and other EU investments should be designed to support all industries that can help meet EU goals such as energy security and decarbonization. Sector coupling will be a key element in the EU’s R&I strategy, and it is here, for example, where the nuclear industry should be included in EU R&I partnerships and projects which can benefit from existing nuclear reactors and advanced designs,” added Desbazeille.

In FORATOM’s view, ensuring that the Horizon Europe and Euratom 2021-2025 programmes complement each other by linking common themes and cross-cutting aspects is paramount for successful EU partnerships.

More information: FORATOM’s Position Paper EU Nuclear Research & Innovation: In Collaboration with Horizon Europe Missions.

About us: The European Atomic Forum (FORATOM) is the Brussels-based trade association for the nuclear energy industry in Europe. The membership of FORATOM is made up of 15 national nuclear associations and through these associations, FORATOM represents nearly 3,000 European companies working in the industry and supporting around 1,100,000 jobs.

For more information, please contact Jessica Johnson: jessica.johnson@foratom.org.

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