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Light on the horizon

As the dust settles on the decision taken by heads of state on the EU budget, Laura Greenhalgh takes a look at what the final settlement means for Horizon 2020.

On 8 February, after one failed summit and more than 24 hours of negotiations at a second, EU leaders finally reached a compromise on the overall EU budget for 2014-20. Subject to approval by the European Parliament, the budget for the next seven years will be €960 billion in spending commitments—with Horizon 2020 set to receive around €70.9bn.

Initially, the Commission wanted an increase in overall spending, to include a significant boost for competitiveness. It suggested an ambitious €165bn for this area, which includes Horizon 2020 and the new Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) infrastructure programme. But any optimism remained short-lived as national lobbying for cohesion and agriculture continued, leaving a final competitiveness budget of €125.6bn.

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