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EPP GROUP Hearing "Horizon 2020 and the EIT" - Reforçando Investigação e Inovação no sul da Europa

2014-02-19

"The EPP had the initiative of a public hearing on Horizon 2020 and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) elucidating the prospects of the Southern part of Europe to participate more easily, openly and on equal footing with the other countries of Europe. Southern Europe is a diverse geographic area that shares many common social, economic, educational, climatic, and natural conditions." commented the Greek MEP Ioannis A. Tsoukalas.

The Portuguese MEP Maria da Graça Carvalho added that "the countries in the south of Europe have traditionally had a strong research culture. However, despite possessing some of the best research centres in the world, southern Europe often still has considerable difficulty in developing their research base and converting their results into concrete products and services."

The Greek MEP Ioannis A. Tsoukalas assessed that "during this hearing our distinguished speakers explored the new opportunities and tools that Horizon 2020 and the EIT provide to Member States of this area to address significant shortcomings, such as the innovation divide and the difficulties in transforming research results into innovative products and services for the benefit of citizens. The conclusions have been very helpful for the implementation of Horizon 2020 and for enabling the people of Europe to match what Horizon 2020 is looking forward for the R&D in Europe." 

"The Southern countries frequently encounter similar types of problems. One of the most frequent complaints is that of excessive bureaucracy. In this respect, I am optimistic that the new H2020 programme - for which I was the rapporteur for the Simplification Report - will allow for simpler access to funding and will be characterised by less red tape in general." concluded the Portuguese MEP.

The EIT - a body of the European Union based in Budapest - will contribute strongly to the objectives set out in Horizon 2020, in particular by addressing societal challenges in a complementary way to other initiatives in these areas. Horizon 2020 is a key pillar of the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at enhancing Europe's global competitiveness.

Video - Horizon 2020 funding to fight brain drain and create jobs in southern Europe