After more than two years of negotiations and months shaken by the health crisis, Habemus Budget! On 17 December 2020, the Council formally adopted the EU’s multi-annual budget for the period 2021-2027 under the aegis of the German Presidency.
An unprecedented increase in the budget envelope
For the 2021-2027 programmation, the budget has reached €1 824.3 billion, of which :
- 1 074.3 billion (2018 prices) for the Multiannual financial framework;
- 750 billion for Next Generation EU, the recovery plan for the COVID-19 pandemic.
In comparison, the budget of the previous Multiannual Framework (2014-2020) was €908.4 billion. The EU’s stated ambition is to target and strengthen certain European flagship programmes in order to contain the consequences of the health and economic crisis.
Among the big “winners” are :
- Research and innovation through Horizon Europe (+ €4 billion);
- Health through EU4HEALTH (+ €3.4 billion);
- Education and training through Erasmus+ (+ €2.2 billion).
Horizon Europe: a significant increase for research and innovation
Horizon Europe, the new framework programme for research and innovation, is finally endowed with a budget of €95.5 billion. Compared to its predecessor Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe gets a budget increase of more than €15bn, making it “the most ambitious research and innovation programme in the world” according to the Commission.
After months of marathon negotiations on the future of the programme – and a risk of cuts announced in July 2020 -Horizon Europe’s budget was finally increased by €4.5bn, with an additional €5.4bn coming from NextGenerationEU.
The breakdown of Horizon Europe’s future budget is as follows:
- 24.9bn for the 1st pillar – Scientific excellence;
- 53.8bn for the 2nd Pillar – Global Issues and European Industrial Competitiveness;
- 13.5 billion for the third pillar – Innovative Europe;
- And €3.39 billion for the Transversal Pillar.
Erasmus+ almost doubles its budget
26 billion was finally allocated to Erasmus+, the EU framework programme for education, training, youth and sport. After an additional reinforcement of €2.2 billion at the end of the negotiations, the 2021-2027 budget represents an increase of almost 80% compared to the previous programming period.
With increased resources, the future Erasmus+ aims at responding new challenges:
- Reinforcing the inclusive dimension of the programme, by facilitating access to small structures and the less privileged people;
- Opening mobility to an even wider public (secondary school pupils, apprentices, trainees…);
- Deploying the digital transformation through hybrid mobilities;
- Accelerating the modernisation of education systems, in particular via European Universities;
- Ensuring the ecological transition.