In this position paper, the Dutch knowledge community, associated in Neth-ER, reflects on the European Commission’s proposal for Horizon Europe and the subsequent procedure in the European Parliament and Council of Ministers. In general, the members of Neth-ER welcome the proposal. Some aspects can however still be improved. This paper builds on key messages from Neth-ER’s earlier vision paper on FP9, ‘Knowledge First’, published in November 2017. It includes specific additional recommendations on the Commission’s proposal for Horizon Europe and the proceedings in the European Parliament and Council of Ministers.

Neth-ER Position Paper on Horizon Europe

Neth-ER position paper on Horizon Europe

Research and innovation are key drivers of a knowledge-based society, productivity, economic growth, and new and better job opportunities. Research and innovation are two sides of the same coin and are crucial for addressing global challenges and continuously improving the quality of life. They are at the heart of an inclusive European Union and strengthen our European public values and culture, including human rights, democratic institutions and the rule of law. Investments are needed to maintain the world-class level of European science and to strengthen Europe’s power to innovate.


Europe must maintain its leading role in the world. We need to further strengthen our knowledge-based society and economy by employing all our talents and other resources optimally. Therefore, the unparalleled European Framework Programme for research and innovation must rise to fulfil its full potential in the next budgetary period. Horizon Europe, the successor to Horizon 2020, must be based on the principles of excellence, cooperation and impact. To achieve that, at least 15% of the EU’s post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), or at least 160 billion euros, must be allocated to Horizon Europe. It is also crucial for Horizon Europe to be part of a coherent Europe-wide policy to put ‘knowledge first’, to leap towards a sustainable future. This also means that the whole MFF should be modern and knowledge-oriented, shifting funding from old policies to new needs.

Key principles:

  • An excellent knowledge base, to be achieved through competition and cooperation
  • Cooperation, to strengthen European industry
  • Impact on society through open standards

Key conditions:

  • A modern knowledge-oriented budget
  • A strong and coherent ‘knowledge first’ policy