A predicted cut to Europe’s research programme, Horizon 2020, occurred as the final budget figures were released by the European Council in Brussels this evening. The budget has been reduced by over 12% according to the meeting’s final conclusions.
The final figures announced in the research section of the EU’s budget were very similar to the draft conclusions released in the early hours of the morning. The ‘Competitiveness for Growth and Jobs’ section which encompasses Horizon 2020 been given a reduced budget of €125.6bn.
ScienceCalling.com analysed the draft conclusions earlier today (see post) and predicted the Horizon 2020 budget would be reduced to €70.3bn. A breakdown of Horizon 2020’s budget is not stated in the final conclusions document (.pdf) but according to Nature.com, the new figure approved by the European Council is €69.24 bn. The original Horizon 2020 budget detailed on the EU’s website was €79.2bn.
Scientists and policy makers had been campaigning to prevent this reduction over the past number of months. Though the outcomes of this cut have yet to emerge, this will be worrying news for researchers in Ireland relying on EU funding due to our own science budget cutbacks.
Table: Competitiveness for Growth and Jobs – All figures are using 2011 as the reference year (constant 2011 prices).