EUA’s views on the European Parliament’s draft report on the Rules for Participation in Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)
June 22, 2012
EUA welcomes and supports the approach adopted by MEP Christian Ehler (rapporteur for the rules for participation and dissemination in the Horizon 2020 programme) in his draft report, presented in this week’s meeting of the European Parliament ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) Committee.
EUA believes that the report acknowledges the needs of the different beneficiaries and particularly welcomes the introduction of the possibility for beneficiaries to claim reimbursement on the basis of real costs.
The report therefore gives recognition to the case being made by EUA that, through developing full costing methodologies, Europe’s universities are seeking to achieve and maintain sustainable research funding capacity to strengthen their competitiveness.
EUA also appreciates MEP Ehler’s proposals for further simplification, notably the broad acceptance of the beneficiaries’ usual accounting and management practices.
EUA hopes that this will also pave the way for the development of a 'light touch' certification of methodologies and for the acknowledgement of nationally accepted methodologies. This would make this process more easily accessible to all universities able to identify their real costs. Such a step would remove a major barrier in the present FP7 (Seventh Framework Programme) certification procedures.
EUA believes that it is both smarter and simpler to allow universities the option for a reimbursement model based on the declaration of real costs. EUA recommends looking again into the possibility of increasing the reimbursement rate currently proposed at 70% of total eligible costs for universities. The current amendment proposal leads to a lower reimbursement rate than the option under FP7 (set at 75%). Given the high cuts in public funding for universities, in particular in many eastern and southern European countries, and their lower overall public investment levels, it would be extremely important to offer attractive reimbursement conditions for all participants. In addition, a rate of 70% may not be a sufficient incentive to those universities who have to invest substantial financial and human resources to implement full costing methodologies.
EUA appreciates the possibility to have two options to recover costs, which takes account of the great diversity existing in Europe. This allows universities that are not yet able to identify their real indirect costs to recover costs through an alternative model. This option needs to include a flat rate high enough to cover indirect costs sufficiently. EUA retains its position that the flat rate for indirect costs under this option should be increased to 40%.
EUA will continue to provide further input to the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, co-legislators in this process. The European Parliament is expected to reach an official position after a first vote this autumn.
To view a full copy of the draft report presented this week, please click here.
To view EUA’s recent (May 2012) input statement to the Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation click here.
Please click here to view a report on EUA’s participation in the recent Horizon 2020 hearing organised by the European People's Party (EPP Group) in the European Parliament.