On 14 May, EU finance ministers agreed to commit an extra EUR 7 billion to cover outstanding payments under the 2013 annual EU budget. This mainly concerns money for EU-funded infrastructure projects, but also some research projects funded through FP7. This agreement was a precondition for the European Parliament to begin formal ‘trialogue’ talks with the European Commission and national governments on finalising the 2014 to 2020 budget.
2014 to 2020 EU Budget and Horizon 2020
The first formal trialogue meeting on the 2014 to 2020 EU budget (known as the Multi-Annual Financial Framework) has also taken place this week. In a press release, the EU Budget Commissioner, Janusz Lewandowski, stated that a final agreement “should be reachable by the end of June”. In this case, a final budgetary allocation for Horizon 2020, and final approval for the programme,Â could alsoÂ be agreed uponÂ around this time.
It is understood that the European Parliament is not expected to demand changes to the overall spending limit agreed by EU leaders in February (EUR 960 billion), but will seek for greater flexibility to enable unspent money to be moved from one budget line to another (as well as a legal review of the spending levels after the European elections in 2014).
The next formal trialogue meeting is scheduled to take place next week, and UKRO will keep subscribers updated on these developments.