Notably, the EU defines its objectives and actions with multiannual programs lasting seven years. Of course, a trade-off is needed between long enough investment planning and quick adaptation to a world that is evolving at an ever-increasing rate.
Furthermore, we need 2-3 years from the Commission's proposal of a multiannual program and its adoption (there are two kind of documents, one strategic and programmatic, the others for implementing each specific action), because the European Council and the European Parliament must follow the respective legislative processes.
To avoid launching obsolete programs, the seven-year strategic programme, now called Horizon Europe (2021-2027), identifies large-scale political objectives, while the implementation programs have a shorter duration and are renewable and updated.
The EU political goals for 2021-2027
Member countries and European institutions have identified six strategic objectives between now and 2017:
1. Environment and climate
To stop the planet from warming, Europe decided the goal of reducing, even eliminating, the use of fossil fuels, and in the meantime reducing energy consumption through better efficiency.
Digital has now entered the life of all things. It is now a question of using it to the fullest to take advantage of it.
The benefit is clear already today and with the evolution of science and the increase of knowledge enormous results can be obtained in all fields of human activities.
However, Europe must invest in its abilities to achieve its own autonomy, being today largely dependent on other countries. For these reasons, the EU believes that investing in digitzle is a strategic imperative.
3. Work and economy
Globalization, digitalization, the expansion of the global market to other nations with emerging economies are transforming the world's economies more and more.
Science can make the circular economy possible, foster the green transition, reduce poverty and give birth to new professions, stimulating significant investments.
4. Public health
Research and innovation play an important role in improving the health of citizens and in defeating diseases. Also to address threats such as pandemics, cancer and rare diseases.
Digital is also an ally of health and Europe intends to invest heavily in the digitization of European health systems.