Global Health has not featured as prominently in the European Union (EU) research agenda in recent years as it did in the first decade of the new millennium, and participation of low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) in EU health research has declined substantially. The Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Framework adopted by the European Parliament in April 2019 for the period 2021–2027 will serve as an important funding instrument for health research, yet the proposed health research budget to be finalised towards the end of 2019 was reduced from 10% in the current framework, Horizon 2020, to 8% in Horizon Europe. Our analysis takes the evolvement of Horizon Europe from the initial framework of June 2018 to the framework agreed on in April 2019 into account. It shows that despite some improvements in terms of Global Health and reference to the Sustainable Development Goals, European industrial competitiveness continues to play a paramount role, with Global Health research needs and relevant health research for LMICs being only partially addressed. We argue that the globally interconnected nature of health and the transdisciplinary nature of health research need to be fully taken into account and acted on in the new European Research and Innovation Framework. A facilitated global research collaboration through Horizon Europe could ensure that Global Health innovations and solutions benefit all parts of the world including EU countries.
- health policy
- public health
- health systems
- infectious diseases
- diagnostics and tools
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Handling editor Seye Abimbola
Contributors ABR wrote and revised the manuscript. EAR, FC, NC, GF, JSW, IA, CS, AP, RvL and TB conceptualised the Future Search Conference in order to strengthen Global Health in the EU Research Agenda. Comments, edits, revisions and final approval were provided by EAR, KKG, FC, MR, AF, NC, GF, JSW, IA, HA, AA, LV, CS, AP, AJ, RN, RvL, LH and TB.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors. TB was supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation through the Alexander von Humboldt Professor award and by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the European Commission and the Wellcome Trust.
Competing interests RvL is also chief executive officer and founder of Madam Therapeutics, a private entity that is pursuing the development of new antibiotics. All other authors declare no known conflict of interest.
Patient and public involvement statement Our research did not involve patients. NGO representatives collaborated with European Global Health researchers in critically assessing the Horizon Europe Framework with a view to strengthen Global Health and Global Health Research and to ensure that the new Framework does not only benefit EU, but global citizens.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement The authors confirm that the data supporting the findings of this article are available within the article.
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