After the European Parliament’s approval of the 2021-2027 EU budget, MEPs have made their cases for EU resource allocation in research and development.
Further investment in sciences, environmental and digital developments, MEPs say, is crucial for the future growth of the EU’s collective economy. They are advocating for concrete EU resource allocation to help these fields meet the EU’s declared ambitions.
EU resource allocation: Horizon Europe
Parliament requested an additional €36.5 billion for the Horizon Europe research programme, bringing its total funding to €120 billion. MEPs noted their intention to prioritise EU resource allocation towards research initiatives which include women, small to medium enterprises (SMEs) or participants from less wealthy Member States.
MEPs agreed to double funding for the LIFE programme, which provides funding for developments to help the EU meet its climate objectives. The programme will contribute towards bringing climate issues into the public consciousness; and aims to reach at least 25 per cent of EU resource allocation towards climate objectives between 2021 and 2027.
Connecting Europe Facility
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) has been renewed for the 2021-2027 period and will continue to support development of transport, energy and telecommunications networks. The CEF will receive a total budget of €43.85 billion: €33.51 billion towards transport projects, €7.68 billion for energy networks; and €2.66 billion for telecommunications and digital network developments.
European Defence Fund
MEPs approved EU resource allocation of €11.5 billion for the EU Defence Fund; €3.62 billion of which will fund research and innovation in the field of defence. €7.84 billion will be made available to augment investments made by Member States in prototype development and beta testing programmes.
EU Space Programme
The EU’s ongoing work towards implementing a full space programme will receive a boost of €821 million, leaving its total funding at €15.02 million. MEPs hope the increased EU resource allocation to the space programme will enhance the European space industry, as well as addressing cyber threats and providing support for “space diplomacy”.
The new Digital Europe programme, created to aid in implementing the EU’s Digital Single Market strategy, will receive an investment of €8.2 billion. It is hoped the programme will enable the EU to become more competitive internationally, reinforcing the union’s digital strategy and supporting new developments in artificial intelligence and digital security.