EU budget negotiations took a big step forward: European Recovery Plan can finally be activated

What does it mean for me that the European Union budget decisions are finally taking a remarkable step forward? The EU budget negotiators are discussing the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027, which also includes a big share of the innovation funding of EU. Now that we almost have a financial framework, we can start making decisions about the parts in it, including, for example, the Horizon Europe programme. As another positive result, the EP budget negotiators secured an additional 16 B€ to reinforce the flagship programmes.

In the compromise, which still has to be endorsed by both the member states and the Parliament, the Parliament budget negotiators secured an additional 16 B€ on top of the package agreed earlier in July 2020. Of this amount, 15 B€ will be used to reinforce the flagship programmes, including both the Green Deal and the Digital Agenda.

In a European Parliament Q&A, Chair of Parliament’s budget committee Johan Van Overtveldt gave the following breakdown of the extra 15 B€ (subject to final confirmation):

  • 4 B€ extra to Horizon Europe research & innovation programme
  • 4 B€ extra to EU4Health programme to be directed to pandemic-related issues, including also investments in the healthcare sector
  • 2 B€ extra for Erasmus+, investing on the “human capital of Europe” through different exchange programs
  • 8 B€ extra for InvestEU and Creative Europe, mainly meant for growth funding of the SME sector.

Where do these additional 16 B€ come from?

Instead of burdening the Member States and their citizens, the European Union will mainly draw funds from the amounts corresponding to competition fines from the companies that are not complying with EU rules. To cover this and costs from the recovery fund, the negotiators have devised a roadmap to introduce new Own Resources during the next seven years to finance the repayment of debt. The roadmap will include, among other things, plastics-based contribution as of 2021, Emissions Trading System based Own Resource from 2023 and a digital levy as of 2023 and other financial and tax-based contributions.

Statement from José Manuel Fernadez, Own Resources co-rapporteur, sums up the importance of this compromise reached yesterday: “Today we reached a historic agreement on the financing of the European policies in 2021-2027. This agreement paves the way for the next MFF, as well as to the Recovery Plan NGEU. We will create new sources of revenue without overcharging EU citizens. This is remarkable!”

Targets of biodiversity, gender, and equal opportunities

In the negotiations, it was decided to implement improved climate and biodiversity tracking methodologies to make sure that at least 30% of the total budget of the EU and Next Generation expenditures will support climate objectives. The improvements are also meant to secure that 7.5% of annual spending is directed to biodiversity objectives as of 2024, with an increase to 10% as of 2026. Another priority in the MFF is to promote gender equality and mainstreaming. 

Do you want to learn more about Horizon Europe? We are here to help!

Now that we are one crucial step closer to having agreed on the next MFF, it is even more import to start thinking about how you can benefit from it and maybe, at the same time, help Europe to tackle global challenges in the fight against climate change, find ways to circular economy and make Europe fit for a digital era.

Do you want to learn more about Horizon Europe and other instruments and how you could find growth for your company? Feel free to contact us for a free consultation to hear how we can help you. We have also launched a new service which is designed to get the most out Horizon Europe instrument in a timely manner!

Read the full press release from European Parliament here.

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