Reactions to EP Committees' EFSI vote
Various European institutions and organisations, amonst them the European Commission and Science Europe, have reacted to the European Parliamentary Committees' vote on the European Fund for Strategic Investment on Monday, 20 April 2015. ITRE, the EP Committee on Industry, Energy and Research, and the EP Budgets Committee had agreed on proposing several amendments to the Commission's EFSI proposal, including a vote to protect the Horizon 2020 budget from a reallocation of € 2.7 million of Horizon 2020 funds to the EFSI.
Science Europe, the Brussels-based association of European Research Funding Organisations and Research Performing Organisations (RPO), welcomed the committees' vote, after having already voiced strong concerns earlier about the financing of the Juncker Plan and the proposed cuts to the Horizon 2020 budget. Stating that the European institutions and the Member States should find better ways to finance the EFSI, Amanda Crowfoot, Director of Science Europe, said, "We believe that EFSI is a good plan for Europe, but that it was based on a flawed funding proposal that would have affected Europe's research capacity and undermined the very innovation potential it is trying to revive in Europe."
Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, also welcomed the Parliamentary Committees' EFSI vote, albeit from a different angle, his focus being that the vote is the starting point for negotiations on the EFSI to enter their final phase. According to Vice-President Katainen, the negotiations between the co-legislators "should lead to an agreement as quickly as possible, allowing for final adoption this summer", in order to ensure that the EFSI is operational as quickly as possible. He assured the co-legislators of the European Commission's support in the trilogue negotiations to agree on a compromise that "ensures that the EFSI is based on sound, stable and predictable foundations and delivers on the objectives to mobilise private and public financing for jobs and growth".
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