In the context of the public consultation launched by the European Commission on Horizon Europe some months ago, EELISA partners have taken the opportunity to evaluate the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and have produced the following joint position paper. The document represents the first effort from EELISA partners to jointly analyse as an Alliance the functioning of Horizon Europe, its opportunities and obstacles for participation. The document presents the views of EELISA’s member universities on the first years of Horizon Europe and highlights issues of particular importance for its members. It also makes some recommendations on how the programme could be improved.
R&I framework programmes constitute a key tool for the promotion of the international dimension of our Alliance members. EELISA partners highly appreciate the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation as a powerful tool boosting their internationalization, helping them deepen, widen and diversify collaborations with other international partners as well as with industrial stakeholders. EELISA partners agree on welcoming all the simplification efforts made by the European Commission, the administrative burden being one of the major deterrents for researchers when approaching EU funding. However, any simplification measure must be taken carefully and be well thought of before widening its use, in order to avoid non-desired effects or in fact the opposite effect. As a matter of example, despite rationalisation efforts, the landscape of European partnerships seems to be still very complex; the changes introduced in the cluster structure had some drawbacks regarding easiness in finding topics for researchers; and some simplifications such as the daily rate or the lump sum approach still generate a lot of uncertainties.