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‘Make or break’ time for EU budget, says former R&D chief


Robert-Jan Smits warns that politicians’ credibility is at stake over the EU’s R&D budget

Robert-Jan Smits, the former director-general of the European Commission’s research department, has warned it is “make or break” time for getting a deal on the EU’s 2021-27 budget. He said politicians’ credibility could stand or fall over what transpires from the negotiations on the Horizon Europe R&D programme and Erasmus+ mobility programme.

“The endgame has begun,” Smits told Research Professional News. “The stakes are high and credibility is at stake, notably of MEPs such as [Horizon Europe co-lead Cristian] Ehler who have repeatedly said that there would not be a deal on the [overall] EU budget unless the funds for Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe will be increased big time.”

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