17th Jul 2019

EU set for massive increase in research spending

The European Commission has presented plans to boost spending on scientific research by tens of billions of euros.

EU science commissioner Maire Geoghegan-Quinn on Wednesday (30 November) announced the bloc's new €80 billion envelope, up from €50.5 billion for its previous seven-year funding programme. The new scheme, dubbed Horizon 2020, will run from 2014-2020.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"We need a new vision for European research and innovation in a dramatically changed economic environment," said Geoghegan-Quinn.

"[The funding programme] focuses more than ever on turning scientific breakthroughs into innovative products and services that provide business opportunities. At the same time it cuts red tape, with simplification of rules and procedures," the commission said in a statement.

In net terms, the sums represent little extra stimulus for the economy, as the bulk of the funds have been shifted from what would otherwise have been spent on agricultural subsidies. The shift does reflect the growing emphasis within Europe on high-tech industry and away from farming, however. Much of the research money is to go to health, food security, energy and transport projects.

Of the €80 billion, €24.6 billion will go to academic research, with €13.2 billion in available grants through the European Research Council (ERC) - a 77 percent increase. Much of the rest will go to businesses in the form of innovation subsidies.

Helga Nowotny, president of the ERC, told Nature magazine that she is "overall pleased" with the proposed budget, which she says will allow the ERC to "at least continue support for the very best researchers working in Europe."

Another big winner, the European Institute of Technology in Budapest, an initiative established in 2008 to boost industrial research spending in the European Union, will receive €2.8 billion. The institute is expected to help to create up to 600 start-up companies over the funding period and provide training for 10,000 PhD students.

The proposed budget increase must still be approved by the European Parliament. The commission hopes a final budget will be adopted by the end of 2013.


This WEEK in the European Union

The Union's next seven-year budget, new tax laws, Palestinian refugees, Belarus and Syria stand out on next week's EU agenda.


'Unique' EU research project to help detect social problems

A new pan-European research project is aiming to connect the archives of Europe’s many libraries, universities and other public institutions in the hope of gaining a better understanding of how society is evolving.

EU hesitates to back France over US tariff threat

France has passed a new tax on tech companies that will affect US global giants like Facebook. Donald Trump has threatened retaliatory tariffs over it. The EU commission says it will "coordinate closely with French" on the next steps.

EU banks more vulnerable to shocks than feared

Eurozone banks, such as Deutsche Bank, might be much more vulnerable to a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis than EU "stress-tests" have said, according to a new audit.


Romania enlists priests to promote euro switchover plan

Romania is due to join the single currency in 2024 - despite currently only meeting one of the four criteria. Now the government in Bucharest is enlisting an unlikely ally to promote the euro to the public: the clergy.

Trump and Kurz: not best friends, after all

The visit of Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz to the White House on Wednesday showed that the current rift in transatlantic relations is deepening by the day.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  5. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  7. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  8. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  9. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  10. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North

Latest News

  1. Von der Leyen faces gender battle for commission posts
  2. EU proposes yearly rule-of-law 'reviews'
  3. Poland 'optimistic' despite new EU law checks
  4. What did we learn from the von der Leyen vote?
  5. Is Golden Dawn's MEP head of a criminal organisation?
  6. Finland rejects call to end sponsorship of EU presidency
  7. MH17 five years on: when will Russia be punished?
  8. EU commission has first-ever woman president

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us