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Carry-over compromise aims to break 2019 budget blockage

The European Commission has proposed a second draft 2019 EU budget that has less extra money for the Horizon 2020 R&D programme, in the hope of resolving a standoff over unspent R&D funds.

Funding allocated to Horizon 2020 in the text of the second draft budget, which was proposed by the Commission on 30 November, is unchanged from the first draft at €12.2 billion, up from €11.2bn in 2018. However, this belies the complicated negotiations going on behind the scenes.

After the Commission published its first draft budget in May, negotiators proposed adding an additional €400 million for Horizon 2020 that was left unspent from the programme’s 2017 budget. This plan won favour with the European Parliament, but was rejected by the European Council, which said it it was “concerned that this would create a precedent, with unknown consequences for the future”.

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