Europe “limping off the pitch has never been on the cards”, declared Christian Ehler, the EPP Group Spokesman in the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy.
He was reacting to the recent EU Council Summit deal on the EU long-term Budget and Recovery Fund. “The announced severe cuts on research, innovation, health and climate change will only mean one thing; Europe will leave the playground to the other big players; notably the US and China.”
The EU started the past decade absolutely determined to become a powerhouse for technology and the most innovative place in the world.
“Here we are now fighting to remain relevant in a fast moving world. European growth will suffer as a result and so will competitiveness. A total of EUR 13,5bn was shaved off from Horizon Europe, if one compares the deal with the initial EU Commission proposal. I hate to say it, but it’s a big NO for innovation.”
Ehler warned against an EU meltdown when it comes to research, development and innovation, especially when stronger EU countries, like Germany, already started raising their Research & Development budget beyond 3% of GDP. These countries are already developing their own national programmes on technologies, like Quantum & Artificial Intelligence.
“This EU Council deal has also killed off all ambitions to achieve the 55% reduction of CO2 in a decade. It’s a pity, as this would have meant transformative changes of the bigger part of the industrial sectors in Europe, ushering in new cutting-edge technologies,” underlined MEP Christian Ehler.
The European Parliament will have the final say on the EU long-term Budget, before it can enter into force. The current multi-year budget runs out on 31 December 2020.
MEPs spelt out their conditions in a recent plenary resolution. The European Parliament’s negotiating team will enter into negotiations with the German Presidency of the Council of the EU as soon as possible.