EP wants to increase Horizon Europe funding to € 120 billion
The European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Energy and Research (ITRE) calls for increasing the budget for the next EU Research Framework Programme Horizon Europe to € 120 billion, in order to "match ambitions on research, defence, space and digital Europe". The ITRE vote on this took place on 22 November 2018, following the EP's adoption of its position on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 last week.
In particular, ITRE MEPs voted to
- increase the Horizon Europe research programme budget for 2021-2027 to €120 billion in 2018 prices (instead of €83.5 billion, as proposed by Commission);
- increase support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by reintroducing the possibility of grants for incremental innovation, with a ring-fenced budget of €2.5 billion;
- introduce innovative measures, such as widening fellowships to strengthen European Research Areas, and reduce the scientific and technological divide;
- give priority to programmes that include women, SMEs or participants from lower-performing EU countries when deciding on two equally strong applications.
The Horizon Europe-related votes received a particularly large majority in the Committee, with 60 votes to 1 in favour (3 abstentions) for Horizon Europe, and 61 votes to 1 (1 abstention) for the Specific Programmes implementing Horizon Europe,
In a similar vein, ITRE supported the European Commission’s proposal to allocate €11.5 billion in 2018 prices to the European Defence Fund, stating that "there is a need for a more ‘European’ approach to defence". The EDF will finance cross-border collaboration in defence research and development projects. MEPs also voted in favour of raising the EC's proposed budget for the EU Space Programme, with €621 million to €14.82 billion in 2018 prices for the next programme period. Finally, the EP also welcomes the EC's proposal for the new Digital Europe programme, and the proposed budget of €8.2 billion for this programme.
MEPs underlined that they are ready to start negotiations with EU ministers at any time to reach an agreement before the European elections. As a next step, the EP plenary will vote on this decision to start talks with EU ministers, which can begin, once a common position is agreed.
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