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MEPs vote for more research funding in 2014-2020

The European Parliament is calling for an increase in funding for research and competitiveness for the next multi-annual EU budget, in a resolution passed yesterday (23 October).

The resolution warns the Council of Ministers that the Parliament wants “significant increases” in funding for research, innovation, and competitiveness programmes. Such funding would stimulate growth and help to end the economic crisis, members of the European Parliament say. The resolution passed with 517 votes in favour and 105 against.

Bulgarian MEP Ivailo Kalfin, who is one of the MEPs leading the Parliament’s budget negotiations, said: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions… If the EU does not put the money where its mouth is, we will not reach our goals, resulting in further loss of legitimacy amongst our citizens and our international partners.”

The Commission has proposed an increase in spending on research and innovation for 2014-2020 under Horizon 2020. Under the proposal, the programme would receive €80 billion over a seven-year period, compared to the €53bn the programme received for 2007-2013.

However, there is concern that the Council of Ministers may not support the Commission’s proposal. Some member states have floated budgets of €60bn, or even €40bn, as part of overall cuts to the EU budget because of the financial crisis.

The Council is scheduled to discuss the next multiannual financial framework, the EU’s 2014-2020 budget, at a summit on 22-23 November. The MFF outlines the maximum spending allowed under each heading of the EU budget for the next seven years. The European Parliament can veto the Council’s decisions on the MFF.