Explanatory Memorandum to COM(2011)809 - Horizon 2020 - The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)

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The set of proposals for 'Horizon 2020', drawn up fully in line with the Commission Communication A Budget for Europe 2020 i, wholly supports the Europe 2020 strategy, which identified research and innovation as central to achieving the objectives of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The set consists of the proposals for:

a Framework Programme for Horizon 2020 (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union – TFEU),

a single set of Rules for Participation and Dissemination (TFEU),

a single specific programme to implement Horizon 2020 (TFEU), as well as

a single proposal for the parts of Horizon 2020 corresponding to the Euratom Treaty.

The overall political narrative and background to these legislative proposals is provided by a Commission Communication adopted together with them, which addresses a number of major cross-cutting elements such as simplification and how the approach to innovation has been strengthened.

Horizon 2020 contributes directly to tackling the major societal challenges identified in Europe 2020 and its flagship initiatives. It will contribute equally to creating industrial leadership in Europe. It will also increase excellence in the science base, essential for the sustainability and long term prosperity and wellbeing of Europe. To achieve these aims, the proposals include a full range of support that is integrated across the research and innovation cycle. Horizon 2020 therefore brings together and strengthens activities currently funded under the 7th Framework Programme for research, the innovation parts of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme, and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. In this way, the proposals are also designed to realise a substantial simplification for participants.



The preparation of the four proposals took full account of the responses to an extensive public consultation based on a Green Paper, 'From challenges to opportunities: towards a common strategic framework for EU research and innovation funding', COM(2011)48. Views were expressed by the European Council, Member States and a wide range of stakeholders from industry, academia and civil society.

The proposals also rely on two in-depth impact assessments, drawing on stakeholder consultations, internal and external evaluations, and contributions from international experts. The assessments found that the Horizon 2020 option would bring more clarity of focus, best achieve the necessary critical mass of effort at programme and project level, and lead to greatest impact on the policy objectives and downstream economic, competitiveness, and social benefits, while at the same time helping to simplify matters by e.g. easing the administrative burden for participants, streamlining the applicable rules and procedures, ensuring consistency between instruments and pointing to a new risk/trust balance.



3.1         Legal base

The proposal integrates research and innovation activities in a seamless way in order to achieve the policy objectives.

As such, Horizon 2020 will be based on the TFEU Titles 'Industry' and 'Research and technological development and space' (Articles 173 and 182). The related Rules for participation and dissemination will be based on the same TFEU Titles (Articles 173, 183 and 188). The 'Industry' basis in both cases will relate predominantly to the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which will be funded by a financial contribution from Horizon 2020. The EIT will not appear at the specific programme level.

It is recalled that innovation activities have been explicitly included in various Framework Programmes based on the Research Title of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and that the current Framework Programmes also includes a range of innovation activities. As a consequence, the specific programme that will implement Horizon 2020 will be based on the TFEU Title 'Research and technological development and space' (Article 182) as the activities foreseen in them will fall under those covered by this Title.

The proposal for the Euratom research and training programme contributing to Horizon 2020 is based on Article 7 of the Euratom Treaty.

3.2         Subsidiarity and proportionality principles

The proposals have been designed to maximise Union added value and impact, focusing on objectives and activities that cannot be efficiently realised by Member States acting alone. Union level intervention can strengthen the overall research and innovation framework and coordinate Member States' research efforts thereby avoiding duplication, retaining critical mass in key areas and ensuring public financing is used in an optimal way. Union level intervention enables continent-wide competition to select the best proposals, thereby raising levels of excellence and providing visibility for leading research and innovation. The Union level is also best placed to support trans-national mobility, thereby improving training and career development for researchers. A Union level programme is more able to take on high risk and long-term R&D, thereby sharing the risk and generating a breadth of scope and economies of scale that could not otherwise be achieved. Union level intervention can leverage additional public and private investments in research and innovation; contribute to the European Research Area whereby knowledge, researchers and technology circulate freely; and accelerate the commercialisation and diffusion of innovations across the Single Market. Union level programmes are also needed to support policy making as well as the objectives set by a range of policies. Full evidence is presented in the accompanying impact assessments.



The budget of all proposals is presented in current prices. The legislative financial statement attached to this proposal sets out the budgetary, human and administrative resource implications. The Commission may use, on the basis of a cost-benefit analysis, existing executive agencies for the implementation of Horizon 2020, as provided for in Council Regulation (EC) No 58/2003 laying down the statute for executive agencies to be entrusted with certain tasks in the management of Union programmes.