21 / 10 / 2020
EPP Group calls on EU Heads of State and Government to match the Green and Digital goals with a budget fit for this age
The European People’s Party (EPP), the largest and oldest group of the European Parliament (EP), is calling on the EU Heads of State and Government to match the Green and Digital goals with a budget fit for this age. On 21 July 2020, the EU Council reached an agreement on the EU long-term budget and Recovery Fund, while reducing EU funds, including for research and innovation. In this regard, the EP calls for an increase of the Horizon Europe budget and therefore cannot accept the Council agreement, as it:
- Maims Europe’s ability to step into the next decade;
- Only means that Europe will continue to lag behind its competitors, notably the US and China;
- Impedes European growth and competitiveness. A total of €13.5bn was shaved off the Horizon Europe research programme, if one compares the agreement with the initial EU Commission proposal;
- Killed off all ambitions to achieve the 55% reduction of CO2 in a decade;
- Hampers Europeans’ ability to combat the negative impact of this and future pandemics;
- Means an EU meltdown when it comes to fundamental and applied research, development and innovation, especially when stronger EU countries already started raising their Research & Development budget beyond 3% of GDP. These countries are already developing their own national programmes on technologies like Quantum & Artificial Intelligence.
This position is supported by the EU R&I community, including EARTO, the Vice-Presidents of the European Research Council (ERC), European University Association (EUA), League of European Research Universities (LERU) and Science Europe.