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Within the EU, it is the third largest financial

envelope, after regional and agricultural funds,

but the largest managed exclusively and directly

by the Commission. The great strength of the

framework programmes comes precisely from

its multiannual character, which at the time was

inspired by the French model to support

science. This feature brings programmatic

stability and allows you to look beyond the

horizon, beyond the immediate and temporary

needs … an example of how the whole is

greater than the sum of the parts. Science, by

its very nature, knows no boundaries; it is

universal. Science needs diversity and

competitive pressure.”

The commissioner also set out some of the

advantages of European scientific policy.

“Thousands of researchers circulating today …

in multidisciplinary teams from different

nationalities; programmes such as the

European Research Council give grants for

basic research that are so competitive so as to

be considered as a kind of mini-Nobel Prize;

large research infrastructures, that no European

country could sustain alone, become viable to

be made at European level; and countries that

previously developed scientific policies in

“Both the punishment of restrictive practices carried out by European

companies or … in cases when governments try to benefit enterprises

of their countries, the Commission has always been vigilant in defence

of European consumers and of free competition,” continued Moedas.

“The two explanations that Monti gives to success in this area are the

supranational nature of the decisions – free of more immediate pressure

from governments – and the fact that decisions are based on a simple

set of rules, whose application has been clarified and improved over time

and with experience. The accuracy and diligence as invisible sources of

institutional strength and authority, in support of a market, is at the service

of Europeans.”

Research and innovation

Moedas then turned to discuss European science and innovation policy,

and drew attention to the emphasis that the EU had placed on research

since its inception as the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).

“Political action in this area is as old as the European project. Both the

ECSC and the EURATOM Treaty contained provisions relating to the

investigation. In the 1960s and 1970s, there were several scientific

promotion initiatives in areas already considered in priority height, such

as energy, environment or biotechnology. The framework programmes

that have brought stability and financial muscle to this area appeared in

the early 1980s. Today, we are in full Framework Programme 8, to which

they gave the name of Horizon 2020.

“Horizon 2020 is the most important public programme to support

science in the world. It has almost €80bn for the period 2014-2020.

I S S U E S E V E N

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L

www.horizon2020projects.com

68

N AT I O N A L F O C U S : P O R T U G A L

Horizon 2020 is the

most important public

programme to support

science in the world,

Moedas told delegates