Science Europe welcomes the decision by the European Parliament’s Committees on Industry, Energy and Research (ITRE), Budget (BUDG) and Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) to protect the Horizon 2020 budget from a proposal to reallocate part of its funds for the EFSI plan.
“These votes in the European Parliament help ring-fence Europe’s long-term competitiveness, which is endangered by a proposal to cut Horizon 2020 funding,” said Prof. Miguel Seabra, President of Science Europe. “Science Europe thanks the European Parliament for sharing our vision on this issue, and will continue to be at the side of lawmakers as they defend European research.”
Since the EFSI plan was revealed late in 2014, Science Europe and other stakeholders have expressed strong concerns about the proposed financing of the plan, which would cut the funding available for Horizon 2020 by 2.7 billion Euros.
“We believe that EFSI is a good plan for Europe, but that it was based on a flawed funding proposal that would have affected Europe’s research capacity and undermined the very innovation potential it is trying to revive in Europe,” said Amanda Crowfoot, Director of Science Europe, the association of 50 major public research organisations in Europe. “In the end, strong voices such as that of Science Europe took the lead in raising awareness about the serious drawbacks of cutting the Horizon 2020 budget, and we are grateful to the MEPs who have voted to protect it.”
Prof. Seabra added: “I hope that this positive signal is now followed by the rest of the European Institutions and by the Member States. The task to find a better way to finance EFSI won’t be easy but it’s a crucial one. Europe’s capacity to produce research-based innovation, as well the success of EFSI, depend on it.”