The Guild calls on the European Parliament to improve spending on Horizon Europe and Erasmus+
The Guild welcomes the European Council compromise on the next Multiannual Financial Framework and Next Generation EU. It now calls on the European Parliament to focus on improvements in spending on Horizon Europe and Erasmus+, which are critical in ensuring that the EU can become more resilient in addressing its future challenges.
After four long days of negotiation, the European Council has reached an historic agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework of 2021-27, and Next Generation EU: together, these two instruments take EU spending to a historical level, as is appropriate for this exceptional time. The Guild congratulates the Council on reaching a compromise, which will ensure that programmes can start without delay, in 2021. But we regret that in the desire of some Member States to reduce the Commission’s proposals for Horizon Europe and Erasmus+, research and innovation were disproportionately affected by cuts to reach a final consensus. This demonstrates the failure of EU leaders to integrate a long-term vision and lessons learned from the current pandemic. We urge the European Parliament now to ensure that more spending is focused on Horizon Europe and Erasmus+, as future-oriented spending where the EU provides unique added value.
According to the Council compromise, Horizon Europe would now receive €75.9bn in the Multiannual Financial Framework, and another €5bn from Next Generation EU. This is far from the €94.4bn proposed by the Commission in May. The same is true for Erasmus+, which was cut by €3.4bn against the Commission’s May proposal, to a total allocation of €21.2bn. At a time of an unprecedented health pandemic, research, innovation and education must be central to the EU’s ambition for the future. These areas are the cornerstones not only for European recovery, but also for its competitiveness. Cuts to these programmes will threaten the EU’s ability to achieve its bold future objectives such as the Green Deal.
The European Parliament, which needs to give its legislative consent, can be assured of our support in its ambition to strengthen research, innovation and education at the heart of the EU’s future ambitions.
22 July 2020
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