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The EU Council adopts two Framework programmes

After the European Parliament a few days ago, it is the turn of the EU Council to adopt two of the most iconic EU Framework Programmes.

Indeed, during the Competitiveness Council of the EU, the 28 ministers of Science approved two Framework programmes of the European Union for 2014-2020, Horizon 2020 for research and innovation and Erasmus + for education, training, youth and sport.

Those two programmes are not only emblematic for citizens, but important as well for the future of Europe. In 2014-2020, more than € 14.7 billion will be allocated to the new programme Erasmus +, which is 40% higher than today. This programme will finance investments in education, training, youth and sport and will open opportunities to 4 million young people to learn, study, be engaged in internships and volunteering in EU countries and abroad.

At the Competitiveness Council, the other emblematic funding programme for research and innovation, Horizon 2020 has been adopted. With more than 70 billion euro covering three priorities, excellence science, industrial leadership and societal challenges. This programme will, on one hand, support actions aiming at establishing a European economy based on knowledge and innovation. On the other hand, it will award grants to projects whose aim is to solve societal challenges and strategic priorities identified in the Europe 2020 strategy. In concrete terms, this means that actions in favour of healthy food, green transport and to fight climate change could be financed under the new programme.

Moreover, in accordance with Horizon 2020 objectives, the 28 Member States have also agreed joint positions on new generation of public-private partnerships to create opportunities for large-scale and long-term innovation activities. Indeed, these public-private partnerships will benefit mainly to SMEs active in the field of scientific research, aerospace, new generation drugs and bio- industries.

In addition, the 28 discussed the way to modernize the public sector in Europe at a particularly delicate time for the Union’s public finances. The EU Member States have agreed on the need to improve the functioning of the EU administration to go further into innovation and competitiveness. The public sector represents a significant part of the EU economy, about half of GDP and 25 % of employment.

Finally, the two Framework programmes Horizon 2020 and Erasmus 2020 + should come into force on 1 January 2014.


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