As the finalisation of the 2023 EU budget approaches, clashes between the European Council and the European Parliament over the funds for the Horizon Europe programme continue.
The Commission’s proposition in June allocated 12.3 Billion EUR to the programme, which was an increase of 100 million EUR compared to the previous year. However, the Heads of States in the European Council amended the proposed budget by reducing it with more than 600 million Euros, which would make the total sum less than the 2022 funding overall. Numerous members of the European Parliament, however, expressed their disapproval towards the proposed cuts.
ITRE Chair Christian Ehler is amongst those who strongly oppose the cuts that would reduce the funding of multiple research and innovation related initiatives, such as the European Research Council and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions as well as research infrastructures in general. According to Science/Business, he referred to the budget debate as a “ritual absurdity”, emphasizing the “draconian” nature of the cuts. Alongside Ehler, rapporteur for the 2023 budget, Nicolae Ștefănuță also against the proposed cuts, calling them inappropriate and highlighting that a number of deserving projects already lack funding.
The Parliament foreseeably will settle on a final position on the budget after 10 October, after which it will enter into negotiations with member states. Before this, ITRE will hold a vote on its position on the budget, on 3 October.