For the first time since they came together for an informal meeting in July at the start of the German Council Presidency, EU ministers responsible for research and innovation travelled to Brussels for a meeting of the Competitiveness Council (COMPET).

The meeting began with discussions on the adoption of a general approach on the German Presidency’s proposal on Horizon Europe, an ambitious research and innovation investment programme for the years 2021-2027. Horizon Europe aims to help the EU achieve its sustainable development goals whilst boosting the Union’s competitiveness and growth.

The main points in the proposal – including additional funding from the proposed EU recovery instrument Next Generation EU and the protection of the EU’s financial interests – are linked to ongoing negotiations on the EU’s next long-term budget. This general approach will help the Council conclude its negotiations with the European Parliament.

During a working lunch, ministers also discussed how the EU’s future research and innovation missions can help the EU overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, advance its use of green hydrogen and strengthen its resilience and technological sovereignty.

On 29 September at 10.10, a public session during discussions on the adoption of a general approach for Horizon Europe was carried out live on the website of the Council Secretariat. Following the meeting of the Competitiveness Council, German Minister for Education and Research Anja Karliczek held a joint press conference with Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, beginning at 15.15.