European Parliament ITRE Committee vote paves the way for the inclusion of musculoskeletal diseases in the future EU Research Framework Programme, Horizon 2020

On 28 November 2012, the European Parliament ITRE Committee (Committee for Industry, Transport and Energy), voted by large consensus six draft laws related to the EU’s framework research programme Horizon 2020. The programme, which still has to be voted in plenary, and agreed by the Council, will determine EU funding in Research for the next 7 years, under the new long-term budget for 2014 to 2020.

For the overall programme, the Commission proposes €80 billion and the European Parliament €100 billion. The European Parliament position is to have 10.2 % of the overall Horizon 2020 budget allocated to ‘Health, demographic change and wellbeing’.

The Parliament voted on its position without being clear what funding will be available for Horizon 2020, after heads of state failed to reach agreement on the overall budget for 2014 -2020. The Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have based their amendments on percentages, rather than actual numbers, making it possible to reach an agreement on Horizon 2020 without a firm budget in place.

For EFORT and the orthopaedic community the ITRE Committee vote on compromised amendments in the area of health is excellent news, which recognises and stresses the burden of musculoskeletal conditions in the European Union. This is a first positive step forward, particularly as the European Commission had made no mention of musculoskeletal conditions in its initial proposal. With this explicit recognition in the text, research calls under Horizon 2020 would include calls on musculoskeletal conditions, once the EU multi-financial framework is adopted and the text reach final agreement with the Council of Ministers.

EFORT has been closely following the debate on Horizon 2020 over the last year, urging the MEPS to include musculoskeletal conditions in the text of Horizon 2020. More recently, EFORT organised with EULAR (The European League Against Rheumatism) a workshop on research in rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions, opening the way for the creation of a consensus and a EU roadmap on research priorities for the next decade. The workshop was attended by EU officials, Members of European Parliament and the Cypriot Presidency representatives.

EFORT will continue closely monitoring the developments in this area and engaging with policy makers to secure specific calls under Horizon 2020.

More information on the recent ITRE Committee vote on Horizon 2020 at:

More information: PDF version including an Horizon 2020 information box (PDF document, 2 pages,508 kb)

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