04 / 05 / 2018

EARTO Press Release – EC MFF Proposal: Opening Negotiations with An Increased RD&I Budget

EC MFF Proposal: 
Opening Negotiations with An Increased RD&I Budget
3 May 2018  
EARTO has taken note of the European Commission proposal for a Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2021-2027 that has been published yesterday. This was eagerly awaited, as the MFF sets up the budget for the next RD&I Framework Programme (Horizon Europe). The MFF proposal sets up a €97.6 billion budget for Horizon Europe to continue to “promote research excellence and strengthen the focus on innovation” and an additional €2.4 billion for Euratom which was also counted separately from Horizon 2020 budget. This is a 27% increase compared to the €77 billion of Horizon 2020 in current prices. However, if assuming an inflation of 2% per year, the €97.6 billion figure falls to €86.6 billion in 2018 prices, this would mean a 12% increase. The €97.6 billion budget figure also refers to “commitments”, when actual payments figures are generally lower. Difficult today to make proper comparison with available figures.  
As already stated, EARTO is strongly supporting a significant increased budget for Research & Innovation under the next MFF. As mentioned in the EC MFF proposal, “Europe’s future prosperity depends on the investment decisions we take today”. The OECD and an EC Report showed that investing in RD&I makes the difference: enhancing productivity, boosting industrial competitiveness, solving societal challenges, maximising impact on citizens’ everyday lives. Now Member States and the European Parliament must take action and truly invest in RD&I as key priority for Europe’s future. We can only urge the European Parliament to stand strong on its €120 billion figure and the Member States to be more ambitious towards spending 3% of EU GDP in RD&I during the coming negotiation period.