09 / 05 / 2018
€100B? €86.6B? A Brussels puzzle: How big is the new research budget?
Éanna Kelly, Science|Business
Who doesn’t love round numbers? The European Commission’s proposal for research and innovation spending for 2021 – 2027, announced last week, had a nice, gigantic one: €100 billion.
Take a closer look at the legal text for the EU’s next seven-year budget, however, and it is quickly apparent that this ‘wow’ figure does not survive contact with decimal points: the number is broken into €97.6 billion for Horizon Europe, the successor to the current Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and €2.4 billion for the Euratom nuclear research programme. A further €3.6 billion is raked away by a new umbrella investment fund, called InvestEU.
Further muddying the water, these allocations are in so-called “current prices”, which allow for 2 per cent annual inflation. When the budget is stated in 2018 prices, the sum earmarked for Horizon Europe falls to €86.6 billion.