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Council and Parliament top up Horizon and Erasmus budgets

Draft deal nets extra €6.2bn for R&D and educational exchanges over next seven years

Negotiators for the European Parliament and Council of the EU have agreed to add another €15 billion to the budgets of 15 EU funding programmes for 2021-27.

After much wrangling—and a last-minute push from lobbyists for a €10bn boost for R&D programme Horizon Europe—the deal was reached on 10 November.

Horizon Europe will get an extra €4bn on top of a previously proposed €80.9bn budget for 2021-27 (in 2018 prices). The chief negotiating MEP, Johan Van Overtveldt, said this would be directed towards R&D on digitisation, climate and health.

The Erasmus+ academic mobility programme will get an extra €2.2bn on top of the €21.2bn originally suggested by the Council, which Van Overtveldt said was equivalent to an entire year of funding.

Jan Palmowski, secretary-general of the Guild of Research-Intensive Universities, said the deal was “a really impressive outcome”.

“Parliament really fought for science, education and public health” he said, adding that it had used its veto power to “excellent—and constructive—effect”.

The talks between MEPs and the Council began on 27 August, after national leaders agreed to cut the overall EU budget proposed by the European Commission in July. Parliament will now vote on the deal agreed, and must either accept or reject the whole package.

Corrected 11/11—The original version of this story gave the pre-increase Horizon Europe budget as €85.5bn, this is the figure adjusted for inflation. It should have been given as €80.9bn in 2018 prices.