Minuli petek so se vodje držav EU dogovorili glede predloga za EU proračun. Naslednja sedemletka financiranja raziskav Horizont 2020 bo po tem dogovoru prejela 70.9 milijarde EUR. To je sicer več kot je bil težak FP7 – 55 milijard EUR. A dodelitev sredstev v FP7 je naraščala z leti, tako da je proračun za l. 2013 10.8 milijard EUR. Za ohranitev enake ravni financiranja bi tako moral biti proračun Horizonta 2020 nekoliko višji, 74 milijard EUR.

Dobra novica je ta, da so infrastrukturni projekti kot sta navigacijski sistem Galileo in ITER izven proračuna Horizonta 2020. Več o tem na Times Higher Education in Nature News.

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    Research leaders have been saying for months that €80 billion is the minimum needed to make Horizon 2020 work the way it is designed. Because Framework 7 budgets increased from year to year during the funding period, 2013 funding is roughly €11 billion. That means that €70 billion over 7 years would be a decrease from current spending. In addition, the plans for Horizon 2020 include a number of new programs and initiatives that Framework 7 doesn't fund, notes Paul Boyle, chief executive of the United Kingdom's Economic and Social Research Council and president of Science Europe, an organization of national science funding organizations. "Our feeling is that €80 billion is required to deliver on the ambitious and exciting proposal that the commission presented," he says. "Anything other than that is disappointing news from Science Europe's perspective."

    The council's budget also includes funding for three large infrastructure projects, which would be funded outside the Horizon 2020 program. The Galileo global positioning satellite system would receive €6.3 billion. The ITER fusion reactor would receive €2.7 billion. The Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) Earth-observing program would receive €3.79 billion. Both Galileo and ITER have won funding at or near to the commission's request but GMES has been cut back severely from the requested €5.8 billion.

    The numbers are not yet final, however. The budget agreement still needs to be approved by the European Parliament, and a number of parliamentarians have said they will block the current deal. (In its budget proposal the parliament gave Horizon 2020 €100 billion.) Leaders of several of the largest parties in the parliament issued a statement on Friday saying they "cannot accept today's deal in the European Council as it is." They listed four points they would "not abandon," including "strengthening European competitiveness and research." Before the parliament votes on the budget, representatives of the council, the parliament and the commission will meet for so-called "trialog" negotiating sessions. Parliamentary leaders have said they intend to hold the budget vote via secret ballot, an arrangement that may lessen the pressure on members of parliament from their home governments to approve the deal.


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