The National Alliance evaluates positively and strongly supports the Widening measures and programmes that under Horizon Europe contribute in building research and innovation capacity for less advanced countries. Indeed, all EU Member States are not on equal footing, they historically did not have the same starting line, and current geopolitical and economic situation also leaves different impact of national budgets of different countries. Therefore the National Alliance stresses that there is a clear need in future for such widening components that help to minimise and close the innovation divide between more and less wealthy Member States and pushes towards a more integrated European research and innovation area which is strongly needed to ensure excellence at European level. Therefore every country should have access and capabilities, including institutional, to participate in R&I. It is important to stress a need for better geographical balance in the distribution of funds from Horizon Europe and the European Defence Fund, including a bigger Widening programme, in order to reduce the innovation gap between Member States.