The deal paves the way for new EU spending programmes covering science, education, climate change and digital projects to start flowing early next year. “Now we can start with the implementation and build back our economies,” European Council president Charles Michel said in a tweet. “Our landmark recovery package will drive forward our green & digital transitions.”
The deal allows Brussels to deploy €1.8 trillion in funding, including €1.1 for the EU’s normal seven-year budget and the rest for stimulus spending in economies cratered by the COVID-19 pandemic. It also brings the EU to a new fork in its history, with the bloc agreeing for the first time to issue joint debt to finance the recovery funding.
“Europe moves forward,” tweeted European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.
EU can now move on to finalise the internal ingredients of its 2021-2027 budget. Up for grabs is the final distribution of funding within the EU’s forthcoming €85 billion Horizon Europe research scheme, with scientists and officials still duelling it out for resources for their preferred programmes. It will fall to Portugal, which takes over the presidency of the EU Council in January, to broker the final arrangement on science spending.
Research has taken some heavy knocks during the intensive, year-long negotiation over the bloc’s future funding, with €13.5 billion diverted out of the Horizon Europe budget in July to other areas, such as cohesion funding and the COVID-19 recovery fund. In later negotiations, €4 billion was returned to the science scheme, though researchers have complained this boost doesn’t go far enough. Source: https://sciencebusiness.net/.