EU Research budget agreed
Research budget agreed – FP7 up by Euro 300 million
The EU budget for the term 2007 to 2013 was finally agreed in a lengthy evening session on 4 April. The total budget has gone up by 4 billion euro since the December proposals.
This includes a welcome 300 million euro extra for the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). However, MEPs were quick to express disappointment at the level of funding for research.
Confusingly, the final figure for the FP7 budget has not yet been ironed out, although it will include the extra 300 million mentioned above. The total extra going to research and education, including FP7 funding, is 2.1 billion euro over the 2007 to 2013 timeframe.
In a statement, EU Research Commissioner Janez Potocnik said he was pleased that the ‘agreement on the budget for the framework programme for 2007 to 2013 has been reached and that additional funds have been found for programmes that are targeted at EU growth and competitiveness.
Parliament President Josep Borrell explained where the extra funds were found. He said that the budget’s ‘ceiling has been raised by 4 billion euro of ‘fresh money’, to be added to the resources of certain programmes which would have suffered severe cuts. These include Erasmus (for student exchanges), the lifelong learning programmes, innovation and aid to [small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)]. To these additional resources should be added an increase of 2,500 million euro in the [European Investment Bank’s] reserves, to fund programmes in the fields of R&D, transport networks and aids to small businesses.’
Source: Office of Science and Innovation, UK