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Legal context

The European Commission published its proposal for a regulation on the Horizon Europe Framework Programme for Research and Innovation in June 2018, including the rules for participation and dissemination of results. It also published the proposal for a decision on the Specific Programme for the implementation of the Framework Programme. In the following two years, the regulation was advanced in several steps towards adoption by Parliament and Council. The decision on the Specific Programme, which sets out the content of Horizon Europe in more detail, was to be adopted exclusively by the Council of Ministers, in consultation with Parliament, in accordance with the Treaty of Lisbon.

Impact assessments have been prepared for European Commission legislative proposals that are expected to have significant economic, social and environmental impacts. This impact assessment was published as a Staff Working Document and accompanied and underpinned the Commission's Horizon Europe proposal.

To prepare its proposal, the European Commission commissioned an independent group of experts chaired by former Commissioner Pascal Lamy to prepare a study on the future design of EU research and innovation programmes. The group's eleven recommendations were extensively incorporated into the objectives of the proposal and were retained in the later stages of the decision-making process.

These included recommendations for streamlining the European research landscape by reducing the number of funding schemes and stimulating synergies with other programmes (for example in the European Partnerships), for creating ecosystems for researchers, companies, innovators and governments and, in this context, the institutions of the European Research Council, for embracing mission-oriented and impact-focused approaches to address global challenges, and for activating and engaging broad societal groups through co-design and co-creation. The recommendation to continue the simplification of management, documents and procedures that started in FP7 and Horizon 2020 was also welcomed by both the Commission and the decision-making institutions.