University associations call for ambitious funding for Horizon Europe
In reaction to European Council President Charles Michel's recent compromise proposal on the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), European university associations have reiterated their calls for more ambitious funding for Horizon Europe and the next Erasmus+ programme. The compromise proposal will be discussed at a special European Summit on 20 February 2020.
In a letter addressed to the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council, the President of the European University Association (EUA) Michael Murphy voiced the member universities' appeal for the necessary financial resources to be allocated to Horizon Europe and Erasmus+, stating that “European citizens want action on climate change and the energy challenge. They want social protection and economic growth ... The European Union’s next budget must be bold in addressing these issues; the roles of research and education must be central as they are at the centre of addressing our challenges in a smart and sustainable way.”
In a similar vein, Kurt Detekelaere, the President of the LERU, the League of European Research Universities, stressed the need to have an agreement on the MFF very soon, and for this agreement to be "future-proof". He stressed that "choosing ambition means not compromising on the share of the MFF for future-oriented areas such as research, innovation and education. These policy areas play a vital role for any society to cope with the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century: tackling them correctly demands an increased investment in research, innovation and education at European level". Any cuts to the proposed budget of European programmes in these areas should therefore be avoided, their budgets should be increased instead.
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