Horizon 2020 is the EU framework programme for research and innovation, succeeding the 7th framework programme for research. Running from 2014 to 2020 with an 80 billion EUR budget, Horizon 2020 has been adopted in early December 2013
EU support to medical research is very important for the RMD community. Hence, prior to the adoption of Horizon 2020, EULAR was very active in raising awareness about the need to further support research and innovation in RMDs, as well as in providing recommendations to policy makers.
EULAR’s position is that EU funds allocated to research and innovation in different diseases, should be proportional to the burden of those diseases. Among others, EULAR developed a position paper on the new research framework programme and organised several events with policy makers and stakeholders to discuss the EU support to research and innovation.
The legislative texts of Horizon 2020 recognise the enormous burden of RMDs, including these conditions among the relevant chronic diseases that Horizon 2020 should address:
- Framework programme (p. 86): In the Union, cardiovascular disease annually accounts for more than 2 million deaths and costs the economy more than EUR 192 billion while cancer accounts for a quarter of all deaths and is the number one cause of death for people aged 45-64. Over 27 million people in the Union suffer from diabetes and over 120 million from rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions. Rare diseases remain a major challenge, affecting approximately 30 million people across Europe.
- Specific programme (p. 80): The programme should address in the relevant chronic conditions and diseases including but not limited to: cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, metabolic diseases and risk factors including diabetes, chronic pain, neurological, neurodegenerative, mental health and substance use disorders, rare diseases, overweight and obesity, autoimmune diseases, rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders and various diseases affecting different organs as well as acute conditions and various functional limitations.
The EU has started to develop the Horizon 2020 work programme 2016-2017. EULAR is preparing a set of recommendations and will shortly submit them to the European Commission and other EU institutions.