The European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy committee (ITRE) voted today on eight reports related to the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the period 2021-2027, thus setting out ITRE’s priorities when it comes to funding towards research, defence, space and the Digital Europe programme.
Within the reports approved today, there are significant increases in financing in key areas of European research and innovation:
- Horizon Europe – research:
- Increase the Horizon Europe research programme budget to €120 billion instead of the €83.5 billion proposed by the Commission
- Increase support for SMEs by reintroducing the possibility of grants for incremental innovation (budget of €2.5 billion)
- Introduce innovative measures, such as widening fellowships, to strengthen European Research Areas
- Prioritize programmes that include women, SMEs or participants from lower-performing EU countries when deciding on two equally strong applications
- European Defence Fund (EDF):
- ITRE voted in favour of the European Commission’s proposal to allocate €11.5 billion to the EDF for the period of 2021-2027, stressing the need for a European approach to defence. This will finance cross-border collaboration in defence research and development projects for interoperable technology and equipment in areas such as encrypted software and drone technology
- The EU Space Programme:
- ITRE voted in favour of raising the European Commission’s proposed EU Space Programme budget by an additional €621 million, raising the total to €14.82 billion in the 2021-2027 period, which is expected to give the EU industry an important boost in this sector
- The Digital Europe programme:
- ITRE voted in favour of the European Commission’s proposal to create the first ever Digital Europe programme and will invest €8.2 billion under the EU budget 2021-2027 to address increasing digital challenges. This will also be vital to support high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and advanced digital skills.
The Plenary will now vote on the decision to start talks with EU ministers, which can begin, once a common position is agreed. MEPs want to make as much progress as possible before the end of this legislative term.
Members of the ITRE committee underlined that they are ready to start negotiations with EU ministers at any time to reach an agreement before the European elections. The European Parliament plenary will now vote on the decision to start talks with EU ministers, which can begin, once a common position is agreed. MEPs want to make as much progress as possible before the end of this legislative term.
The ITRE press release can be found here.