On Wednesday 7th March 2018, a delegation of EUREC members met senior officials in the European Commission and two Members of the European Parliament to exchange views on Framework Programme 9 (FP9) and present the results of Horizon 2020 and Framework Programme 7 (FP7) projects in which EUREC Members have participated.
Group picture – from right to left: EUREC President, Rainer Janssen (WIP Renewables); EUREC Vice-President, Roger Nordman (RISE); Claude Turmes, ITRE MEP; Michael Kreuz, DLR; Wolfram Witte, ZSW; Paul Mckeever, ORE Catapult; Greg Arrowsmith, EUREC Policy Adviser; Charlotte Kellner, Energy Policy Advisor Greens/EFA
The first meeting was hosted by Patrick Child, Deputy Director General DG RTD – Research & Innovation – who confirmed the centrality of renewables in the EU’s Energy Union strategy and felt that his introduction to these projects would help him make the case for supporting renewable energy in FP9 .
The delegation next met Hans van Steen, Adviser to the Director of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Energy and his colleagues. The concrete success stories presented by EUREC’s members re-assure the Commission of the positive impact of the research that it funds, he said.
In the discussion following the presentation of their projects to Robert Schröder, a member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Moedas, the delegation learned of Innovation Deals. These reinterpret regulations that might be blocking the adoption of technology that’s in the public interest, including in energy, so that adoption becomes possible. An early example is ‘The Green Deal’ that helped KLM to use biofuels in aviation.
In the meeting with Silvia Bartolini, a member of the Cabinet of Commissioner CaÃ±ete, EUREC learned that there is support, at least in some parts of the Commission, for retaining Horizon 2020’s rule that 35% of its budget should go on climate-related work. It is essential that at least this level of spending is maintained, in EUREC’s view, because climate change has risen up the agenda since Horizon 2020 was adopted in 2013.
The last stop on the tour was the European Parliament. The ITRE committee is readying itself for a closed-door meeting with Commissioner Moedas next week. The two ITRE MEPs, that the delegation met, Claude Turmes and Jakop Dalunde from the Greens/EFA Group, want to apply pressure to make sure that spending on renewable energy is maintained. They also want a strategy to create high-value jobs in the sector in Europe.
After a day of key meetings, the EUREC members agreed that this type of initiative is essential to present project success stories in EU research and they would be delighted to see a continuation of this close exchange of views.
Regarding the preparation of FP9, EUREC published a position paper on the successor of Horizon 2020 at the end of 2017. The EUREC delegation’s discussions with key decision makers on 7th March 2018 continues our engagement, since 1991, in EU-level R&D policy in renewable energy.
You can read here the EUREC position paper key messages on FP9