European Commission proposes 30 billion Euro budget increase for research, innovation and higher education

Categories: News

Tags: EU | Budget | Research | Innovation | Higher Education

This article is adapted from a report from University World News.


A new, modern budget for the European Union.

The European Commission (EC) has called for a 30% increase in the European Union’s research budget and a doubling of the budget for Erasmus+ in its proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-27, which it presented to the European Parliament on 2 May.

If agreed by the European Parliament and the European Council, this would bring spending on research up from €70 billion in Horizon 2020 to €100 billion in Horizon Europe – as the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP9), the successor to Horizon 2020, will be called.

Members of the European Parliament were quick to praise the European Commission for earmarking a drastic increase in funds towards programmes that have been championed by the parliament, including Erasmus+, which will receive €30 billion over the seven-year funding period – compared with €15 billion in 2014-20.

Along with security and defence, education and research are one of the few areas to avoid cuts and see a proposed increase in spending in the EC’s proposal.

In its final budget proposal to the Parliament, the European Commision said: "Europe’s future prosperity depends on the investment decisions we take today. The EU budget has long been a vital source of investment across Europe. Stepping up investment now in areas such as research, strategic infrastructure, digital transformation and the Single Market will be key to unlocking future growth and tackling common challenges such as decarbonisation and demographic change."

유럽연합의 새로운 예산

EC는 5월 2일 유럽연합 의회에 발표한 2021년-2027년 예산계획 제안에서 유럽연합의 연구 예산을30%, 에라스무스 플러스 예산을 두 배 인상하는 것을 요청했다.

유럽연합 의회와 유럽 이사회가 이에 동의할 경우, 700억 유로가 Horizon 2020에, 1000억유로가 다음 연구혁신 프로그램(FP9)이자 Horizon 2020을 계승하는 연구혁신 프로그램인Horizon Europe에 쓰이게 된다.

유럽연합 의회의 회원국들은 Erasmus+를 포함한 의회가 지지한 프로그램들의 예산이 2014년-2020년 150억 유로였던 것에 비해 2021년-2027년 예산계획에서 300억 유로로 과감히 인상한 것을 즉각 호평했다.

교육과 연구 분야 안보와 국방 분야와 더불어 EC의 예산안에서 감축을 피하고 인상이 제안된 몇 안 되는 분야 중 하나이다.

의회에 제출한 마지막 예산안에서, EC는 “유럽의 향후 번영은 오늘 우리가 하는 투자 결정에 달려있다. 유럽연합의 예산은 오랫동안 유럽 전반에 대한 투자의 중요한 원천이 되어왔다. 연구, 전략적 사회 기반, 디지털 변환과 단일시장과 같은 분야에 대한 투자를 늘리는 것은 향후 성장의 문을 열고 탈 탄소나 인구변화와 같은 문제를 해결하기 위한 열쇠가 될 것이다” 라고 말했다.



Uncertainty due to Brexit

It is actually very difficult to evaluate the significance of the figures proposed because it is not possible to know yet what the United Kingdom will be contributing to the budget post Brexit. In theory Brexit will create a €12 billion hole in the EU’s overall finances, but the UK has indicated it would like to buy back into some parts of the EU programme – if the EU will allow it.

Still, the proposed research budget is about €35 billion more than Horizon 2020 when one takes into account the UK contribution.

LERU, the League of European Research Universities, said: “This represents the biggest [percentage] increase ever for the FP [Framework Programme]. Especially in light of Brexit and its budgetary consequences, as well as the EU’s new priorities, the proposed increased investment in research, innovation and education by the commission is acceptable.”


Biggest increase ever

LERU, which favours an association of the United Kingdom to FP9 post Brexit, said if the UK, Switzerland, Norway and Israel associate to FP9, it would effectively increase the budget to €120 billion, the amount LERU called for last year.

A study commissioned by LERU has shown that investing in universities pays off with very high returns: in 2016 LERU universities generated almost €5 of gross value added (GVA) for every €1 of income received. It was also estimated that the wider research universities sector generated €400 billion in GVA and supported 5.1 million jobs in Europe in 2016.

Members of the European Parliament, who are expected to vote on the proposal at the end of May, responded positively to the proposal, welcoming the new priorities, including the emphasis on research.


More information: UniversityWorldNews article || Final communication from EC to the Parliament on 2 May 2018