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June 30, 2011

Commission proposes €80bn for next Framework Programme

The next Framework Programme will be worth €80.2 billion if the European Commission gets its way, the proposal for the 20140-2020 Commission budget has shown.

This would represent a 46 per cent increase on the budget of Framework 7, which runs from 2007 to 2013 and is worth about €56bn. In a statement announcing the budget proposal, the Commission said that the increase is meant to boost Europe’s economy and shows a lasting commitment to research, science and innovation.

"This is an anti-crisis budget, a pro-jobs budget and a budget for tackling our biggest challenges—things like climate change, energy and food security, health and our ageing population,” said Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the research commissioner. “It's a pro-growth budget and more growth means less austerity for less long.”

The European Commission proposal was announced last night (29 June) after long deliberations within the Commission.

Part of the budget increase is because it seems the Commission has made good on its plans to unite research and innovation funding, and some agriculture funding. Geoghegan-Quinn has already announced that the budget includes a proposal for a €4.5bn funding pot for agricultural and food research.

However, the €80bn could also include the follow-up to the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme, which has, until now, been run by DG Enterprise, but is expected to move to DG Research and Innovation in the next budget. The CIP fund is worth around €3.6bn in the 2007-2013 budget and could make up a significant part of the overall increase for 2014-2020.

"What is more we will be streamlining our research and innovation funding, under the new Horizon 2020 programme, to get even better value for taxpayers," said Geoghegan-Quinn.

The Commission announced yesterday that its proposed multi-annual budget for 2014-2020 would be €1,025bn in commitments, which translates roughly into €972.2bn of outgoing payments. This makes up around 1 per cent of the EU’s overall gross national income.

No sub-budgets have been set within the research and innovation funding stream. A detailed budget including plans on how the money could be spread between research areas and programmes will be published by the Commission in December.

The budget proposal will now be passed on to the European Parliament and the European Council, which will have to approve or amend it. This tug of war between the EU’s three governing bodies could continue well into 2012, despite the Commission saying it is aiming for a swift agreement.

For an overall budget breakdown and a statement by Jose Manuel Barroso, see: http://rsrch.co/lTbyzA

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