Agreement on the EU budget for 2021-2027

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.

© European Commission

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.