EUA welcomes this week’s announcements in relation to the political agreements for the next long-term EU programmes for research (Horizon 2020) and education (now called Erasmus+). These are crucial for European universities as they represent important developments in the negotiations enabling both programmes to begin as planned in 2014.
On Tuesday (25 June) an “informal deal” on a package of laws to establish the EU's next research and innovation programme, "Horizon 2020" (2014-2020), was reached by negotiators for the European Parliament and the Irish Presidency of the Council. On June 26, the Irish Presidency then announced that it had brokered an agreement on the new EU programme for education, training, youth and sport (to be called Erasmus+ rather than Erasmus for All).
Focusing more particularly on the Horizon 2020 announcement, EUA takes note that the proposed rules for participation included in the package do not appear to include an option for reimbursement of research costs based on full costing methodologies (in addition to the flat rate model proposed). EUA has long emphasised the importance of full costing for the overall financial sustainability of universities and will, of course, continue to do so in future.
At the same time, as the reimbursement model is only one element in the broader attempt for simplification of rules that will be vital for the successful implementation of Horizon 2020, EUA will continue to contribute to the current discussions on how to really simplify the management procedures and implementation rules so as to lower the administrative burden on participating universities.
EUA will be publishing a more detailed response when it has had the opportunity to examine both the different elements of the Horizon 2020/Erasmus+ legal packages and those of the “political agreement” reached on Thursday 27 June on the future long-term EU budget for 2014-2020 (Multiannual Financial Framework – MFF) and its implications for the Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ budgets.
EUA understands that the different legal packages for both programmes and the MFF will now have to be approved by the European Parliament.