It is hard to overestimate the importance of naming something. The very act itself captures hopes and expectations, and it marks the first step on the road to the future.
These thoughts were front of mind when deciding the new name for the ninth European framework programme for research and innovation.
Today, I can finally announce that it will be called Horizon Europe.
Horizon, because our brand means excellence. Over the past few years, the name “Horizon 2020” has sent a clear message across the globe: excellence. We have built a global reputation as a world leader in research and innovation programming, and it is for this reason that we believe the successor to Horizon 2020 should capitalise on this strong brand name. With Horizon Europe, we are enacting an evolution not a revolution. Building on the success of the past is putting our best foot forward for the future.
Europe, because we are proud of our collective strength. In Europe, as we face a period of poly-crises – economic, political and social – EU added value is important, now more than ever. Individually as Member States we are strong, but together as 27 our research and innovation potential is untold. The name “Horizon Europe” also speaks to our pride, because our Union is something we should be infinitely proud of. Too often we focus on the negative at a time when we should be celebrating our achievements. But with this new name we usher in an era of shouting about the EU as a success story.
Above all, by bestowing the name Horizon Europe on the next framework programme, we are bridging the past and the future of research and innovation in Europe.