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New Horizon: €79 billion for R&D as Parliament approves EU budget for 2014-2020

According to an article published on Science|Business, the European Parliament agreed the EU’s budget for 2014-2020, as well as the final seal on the Horizon 2020 legislative deal.

The overall EU budget for 2014 – 2020 has been voted through, securing a budget of €79 billion for Horizon 2020 and meaning the first calls can be launched as promised on December 11.

"The vote today by the European Parliament was a vote for a modern, future-oriented budget that puts more emphasis than ever on research and innovation,” said EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.

The Commission says this is an increase of nearly 30 per cent over the current framework programme, FP7, but such figures disguise the inclusion in Horizon 2020’s budget of the EU’s contribution to the innovation related activities of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and to the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

The total budget for Horizon 2020 is €70.2 billion in constant (2011) prices, and €79 billion including inflation. The original Commission proposal for Horizon 2020 was €80 billion in constant prices, while many MEPs wanted €100 billion. “The amounts available […] are far from perfect,” said Parliament President Martin Schulz. “The European Parliament would have preferred a much more ambitious [budget] targeted more towards the key challenges facing the EU today.”

The vote follows a deal reached by the Parliament and national governments on 12 November for the 2014 budget, which foresaw a budget of €9 billion for Horizon 2020 in the first year. This would be a decrease on the 2013 figure under FP7 of €9.9 billion. However a new flexibility measure in the overall budget could see up to €400 million for research, Erasmus and SMEs brought forward in 2014-2015. This would then be offset against the budget in later years.

Two days after the budget deal, MEPs voted to approve the overall Horizon 2020 legislative package, bringing all EU-level funding for research and innovation under one roof for the first time.

Read more on Science|Business

Original source: Science|Business

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