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Shaping the future European RDI landscape: RISE's Vision for FP10

As discussions surrounding the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP10) unfold in Brussels, a chorus of voices from diverse networks is resoundingly advocating for a larger FP10 budget. Despite representing a spectrum of RD&I interests and priorities, these networks converge on one central message: a larger RD&I budget is indispensable for the EU's long-term competitiveness. 

RISE's newly conducted FP10 position paper shares the concerns of the many voices calling for a larger RD&I budget and brings up a few structural dilemmas that need to be addressed in the early discussions of the next FP. Notably, it is time for RD&I to be prioritized in the upcoming multiannual financial framework (MFF), and for EU leaders to cease reallocating funds from its RD&I posts to address crisis-related expenditures. 

Tackling the instability of the current framework programme 

As the EU´s long-term budget negotiations getting closer, the call for a larger RD&I budget risks being overshadowed by the Member States general policy stance of a restrictive EU budget since few, if any, national representatives are inclined to report increased budget allocation to the EU in their national debates. Consequently, increasing the FP10 budget might primarily revolve around prioritizing the RD&I budget post within the EU´s budget and its multiannual financial framework (MFF). Today, this is far from reality, as the EU frequently reallocates funds from its RD&I posts to address crisis-related expenditures. The most recent example in February (2024), when €2.1 billion was redeployed from Horizon Europe to bolster crisis support packages, which undoubtedly serve vital purposes. However, stealing from already constrained RD&I pockets will in the long run hamper the EU´s innovation capacity which is the fundament for our economic growth and Europe´s competitiveness. 

There are additional two more structural dilemmas, other than regular reallocation of the FP budget, to address in upcoming negotiations. Annual re-discussion of the MFF budget and yearly changes in allocation within the FP-budget are also contributing to the instability of the current FP. To overcome this instability, the RD&I budget should be ringfenced within the MFF, where the initial budget is protected to ensure stability and predictability for stakeholders participating in the FP. 

Member states positions: key building blocks of FP10

The Danish government has taken a first-mover role when presenting distinct recommendations in its position for the upcoming FP10. Finding common ground among EU member states will undoubtedly pose challenges, but being first with a national position will hopefully have a great impact on the rest. 

The Danish position succeeds in pointing out needed reformations such as merging existing EU programs with RDI components with FP10, integrating support for technology infrastructure and lift the Missions out of the FP. Components that are also stressed in RISE's recently adopted position paper on FP10. Hereby, RISE brings several strategic issues to the attention of the policymakers negotiating the future FP10 under the headlines of: 

  1. Increasing the FP Budget 
  2. Tackling the instability of the RD&I budget in the MFF 
  3. Launching support for Technology Infrastructures 
  4. Streamlining the European RDI support landscape  
  5. Enhancing the focus on industrial competitiveness 
  6. Simplifying participation for beneficiaries 

It is now time for other Member States to formulate their position, adding points of discussion, to the debate. It may be overly optimistic to anticipate national positions including both a larger and ring-fenced FP10 budget. Hence, two plausible alternatives emerge: a substantially augmented budget with provisions for diversion, or a moderate increment specifically earmarked for RD&I actions. Nevertheless, let us aspire to avoid arriving at this crossroad. Instead, the council should chart a course that prioritizes RD&I as a means to enhance the EU´s longterm competitiveness, which is the main imperative of a larger RD&I budget post and a strenghtened FP10. Ultimately, we can only hope that the message resonates well with the Member States. 

Position Paper – The next Framework Programme for Research & Innovation (FP10)

RISE's newly conducted FP10 position paper shares the concerns of the many voices calling for a larger RD&I budget and brings up a few structural dilemmas that need to be addressed in the early discussions of the next FP. Notably, it is time for RD&I to be prioritized in the upcoming multiannual financial framework (MFF), and for EU leaders to cease reallocating funds from its RD&I posts to address crisis-related expenditures. 

Position Paper – The next Framework Programme for Research & Innovation (FP10)

Adam Andersson

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Adam Andersson

Head of European Affairs, Brysselkontor

+32 470 86 36 75

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