The European Parliament met on 23 July in an extraordinary plenary session to adopt a resolution declaring that it does not accept the budget deal made by EU leaders on 21 July. EUA welcomes the resolution and supports the European Parliament in its call for more funding for research, innovation and the Green Deal.
The resolution states that the Parliament objects to specific cuts in the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, which covers key programmes for the higher education and research sectors like Horizon Europe and Erasmus+, and calls for further negotiations. It specifically notes that the cuts go against the EU’s central objectives, especially given the Covid-19 crisis. This is in line with EUA’s reaction to the deal, which states that the outcome reveals a failure to invest strategically in the future.
European Parliament President David Sassoli has specifically cited research and the Erasmus+ programme in calls to negotiate towards a better deal. EUA backs this position as a strong knowledge base will be crucial in the recovery efforts.
EUA also reminds European leaders that in addition to R&I, education is also at stake and is key to meeting the challenges of the digital transition. Furthermore, as this negotiation is an opportunity to reinforce European solidarity, it is relevant to extend that same solidarity towards future generations by recognising the burden of debt that will be created.
EUA invites all EU leaders, to reflect carefully on this responsibility and to maintain focus on the fact that the EU’s future success is dependent on today’s investment in research, innovation and education. EUA has provided in-depth evidence of this in its EU funding for universities campaign and is a leading member of a strong alliance of 15 university associations that has actively advocated on this topic.
The seven-year EU budget deal must be approved by the European Parliament, however the body has no formal control over the €750bn recovery package that was also agreed on 21 July. After today’s vote, further negotiations on the disputed areas of the long-term budget deal will have to take place over the summer as an agreement is needed in October to start the new EU programmes in time in 2021.