MEP Ijabs proposes increasing EU's research and innovation spending

  • 2020-08-05
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - European Parliament member Ivars Ijabs (For Development/For) has called for prioritizing scientific research and innovation in the European Union's EUR 750 billion program Next Generation EU recovery program, the MEP's representative Dace Barga informed LETA. 

The European Council agreed the Next Generation EU program in July. 

In an open letter initiated by Ijabs, 11 members of the European Parliament's Industry, Research and Energy Committee appeal to the EU's German presidency and the European Commission, urging to increase spending on research and innovation. 

The MEPs express regret that of the EUR 120 billion earmarked by the European Parliament for Horizon Europe research program,  member states' premiers have only approved two thirds for this purpose in the bloc's next multiannual budget. 

"For the first time in the EU's history the research program has not been significantly increased in the new seven-year budget," Ijabs said, adding that the premiers also slashed the funding proposed by the European Commission for Erasmus+ educational program.

The MEPs are therefore calling on the EU presidency and Commission to insist on prioritizing research and innovation in member states' recovery budget plans. "Investment in research and innovation should be encouraged in negotiating the national investment programs under the European structural and investment funds," the letter says.