We, EU R&I Framework Programmes’ (FPs) beneficiaries, including universities, research and technology organisations and businesses urge the European Institutions to take into consideration the major concerns raised by the proposed Horizon Europe Model Grant Agreement (MGA), especially regarding the personnel costs’ rules.
We acknowledge the European Commission’s objective to improve cross reliance between directly managed EU programmes with the new Corporate MGA. However, to achieve true simplification, this cannot lead to increased administrative burden and costs for EU FPs’ beneficiaries. The shift proposed for the personnel costs’ rules is not in line with most beneficiaries’ usual cost accounting practices, and carries the risk of discouraging scientific and research communities to take ownership of the Horizon Europe Programme, thus affecting its attractiveness and overall competitiveness.
To preserve the EU FPs’ excellence and impact in Horizon Europe, the European Institutions should seek for continuity with H2020 rules, consistency with beneficiaries usual cost accounting practices, and alignment with national and regional R&I programmes, allowing us to embrace the political priorities set together for Horizon Europe.
Such position has already been voiced by several EU R&I stakeholders’ associations (see below*), putting forward concrete proposals as well as several solutions, which should be considered by the European Commission. These papers reflect some of the outcomes of an in-depth work involving financial experts and research administrators and accountants from a variety of EU FPs’ beneficiaries across Europe, and reflecting our willingness to contribute to the implementation of Horizon Europe.
*Recent statements from R&I stakeholders’ association:
- EUA position: “Horizon Europe implementation: EUA call for an efficient and flexible Model Grant Agreement” – https://eua.eu/resources/publications/904:horizon-europe-implementation-eua-calls-for-an-efficient-and-flexible-model-grant-agreement.html
- EARTO position: “Input towards Horizon Europe’s MGA: Ensure continuity with H2020 personnel costs’ options” – https://www.earto.eu/wp-content/uploads/EARTO-input-towards-HEs-MGA-Ensure-continuity-with-H2020-personnel-costs-options-final.pdf
- CESAER position: “Sustainable Funding for Universities of the Future in Europe” – https://www.cesaer.org/news/sustainable-funding-for-universities-of-the-future-477/
- DigitalEurope position: “Views on personnel costs in Horizon Europe” – https://www.digitaleurope.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/DIGITALEUROPE-views-on-personnel-costs-in-Horizon-Europe.pdf