Horizon 2020 widening programme not a ‘miracle pill’

16 Jun 2022 | News

European Court of Auditors says despite good design, moves to reduce the east-west research and innovation gap in Horizon 2020 cannot make up for a lack of reforms and investment in lagging member states

EU efforts to reduce the east-west gap in research and innovation should be backed by investment and reforms in member states, the EU auditor says in a report reviewing funding schemes set up by the European Commission to help bridge the divide.

Countries that joined the EU after 2004 have relatively under-developed research and innovation systems, score lower on the EU’s R&I league, and get fewer EU grants compared to countries in western Europe with long-established traditions in investing in research.

In a bid to change this, the EU drew up a plan to widen participation in the Horizon 2020 framework programme. However, the auditors say these measures can only nudge countries in the right direction - and on their own cannot trigger the changes needed to improve national research and…

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