European Parliament secures new EU budget with job-creating funds for R&D, SMEs and Erasmus






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Stand-up Chris on Hello and welcome to our round-up of the European Parliament's latest plenary session in Strasbourg. The week saw final parliamentary approval on the EU budget plan for the European Union for 2014-2020, with funding for research and development, small and medium-size businesses, and education.
We begin with the breakthrough on the budget framework.

Vote on the budget Chris off After months of deadlock, the EU's budget plan is finally secured, after the European Parliament fought for, and got, a budget that is more forward-looking. Even with a reduced budget for 2014-2020, at just under 1 trillion euros, it's been turned into an investment fund for growth and jobs.

Youth unemployment, parliament outside and inside

Daul setup Chris off With youth unemployment over 50% in some EU countries, the multi-annual financial framework focuses extra money to generate and maintain jobs for young people. There's also a mid-term review of the figures that allows redirecting funds according to evolving needs. In addition, the payments shortfall for 2013 - an estimated 11.2 billion Euros – has been fully made up, a key demand of the European Parliament. The parliament had rejected a proposal by European leaders and forced a compromise with a higher budget, even if they didn´t get all they wanted. As head of the parliament´s largest political force, EPP Group President Joseph Daul pushed hard to seal the deal.

Joseph Daul, EPP President The policies that we put in place, and the new ones we want to put in place, especially for employment, are in place. That´s not enough, but it´s in place. And I feel a bit more satisfied now, after all I lived through these past two or three months. I say it is, in my opinion, the best solution we could find, or we would have had to fight. And I believe no one would have understood that. Les politiques qu´on a mis en place, et les nouvelles que nous voulons mettre en place, notamment pour l´emploi, sont en place. Ça ne suffit pas, mais c´est en place. Et moi je me sens un peu plus apaisé maintenant après tout ce que j´ai vécu les deux ou trois derniers mois.
... je dis c´est, à mon avis, la meilleure solution qu´on a pu trouver, ou on aurait dû aller au clash. Et je crois que ça, personne n´aurait compris.
Parliament inside, MEPs in session Chris off Parties across the political spectrum joined forces to pressure the national governments into accepting the changes.
Chris on As part of the effort to spur growth and job-creation, the EU spending plan includes tens of billions of euros to speed new ideas to market, through research and development The program is called Horizon 2020.
Research and development Chris off The EPP Group pushed hard for Horizon 2020's 70 billion-euro budget to accelerate R&D. That's 10 billion a year through 2020, the third-largest share of the overall EU spending plan. Horizon 2020 cuts red tape and boosts funding for promising research projects in such fields as information technology, nanotech, biotech and outer space. It also aims to encourage R&D in food security, energy and sustainable agriculture. Fast Track to Innovation and other programs encourage younger European researchers to return from abroad, reversing what's been a brain drain in recent years.
Setup Carvalho Maria de Graca Carvalho is one of the EPP Group's authors of the legislation.
Maria de Graça Carvalho, Portuguese MEP Most of the Horizon 2020 budget is dedicated to the recruitment of researchers, technicians, engineers and entrepreneurs. For example, every 1billion Euros will fund 2500 Marie Curie scholarships or 4000 innovative SMEs.

I truly believe that Horizon 2020, being the largest funding program for research and innovation globally and covering the whole innovation cycle, can make a real difference in enhancing the competitiveness of European industry and in getting out of the current crisis.
A maior parte do orçamento do Horizonte 2020 é dedicado à contratação de investigadores, técnicos, engenheiros e empreendedores. Destaco, por exemplo, que cada 1.000 milhões de Euros do orçamento do Horizonte 2020 financiam 2.500 bolsas Marie Curie ou 4.000 PMEs inovadoras.
Acredito profundamente que o Horizonte 2020, sendo o maior programa de financiamento de Investigação e Inovação a nível mundial e cobrindo todo o ciclo de inovação, possa fazer a diferença no aumento da competitividade da indústria Europeia e na saída da crise que atravessamos.
R&D Chris off Horizon 2020 is to take effect in January, not a day too soon to boost Europe's recovery and create sorely needed jobs.
Chris on Another key program in the new EU spending plan is called COSME. It complements Horizon 2020 by helping small and medium-size enterprises take those new ideas from R&D and take them to market, faster.
SMEs, start-ups Chris off COSME is short for the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs. It will now dedicate more than 2 billion Euros from 2014 to 2020 to help entrepreneurs and SMEs across Europe to fund start-ups, expansions and acquisitions. 60% of the funding will go to financing. 20% will help promote SME access to markets, including through the Enterprise Europe Network. Co-author Paul Rübig of the EPP Group says this programme will provide financial guarantees so firms can better compete in the global market.
Paul Rübig, Austrian MEP A lot of SMEs haven´t enough own capital to back up these guarantees, and so they lose contracts. And with the losing of contracts, we lose a lot of jobs. Only 13 percent of SMEs are active on the global market. And so the COSME program I think is wonderful because it was coming out of the CIP program, Competition and Innovation Program, and I asked the Commission to do a separate program, the so-called COSME program. And now we got it, two billion, it´s wonderful.
SMEs with women and minorities Chris off Rübig says those SMEs are crucial to boost employment among all social groups, including women and minorities with new ideas, who need that extra hand to jump-start their businesses.
Chris on Finally, one of the EU's most popular programs – Erasmus. It's helped many of today's leaders develop the pan-European skills they needed to become successful. Now an effort to expand it, called "Erasmus Plus."
Erasmus programs Chris off The new funding will tackle youth unemployment by improving skills and labour market mobility Between 2014 and 2020, the EU stands ready to commit 14.7 billion euros for Erasmus and other exchange programmes, which will be pooled under a new umbrella called Erasmus Plus. 5 million Europeans will benefit. It includes the Cornelius programme for school education, Leonardo da Vinci for vocational training, Grundtvig for adult learning, and Erasmus Mundus for international higher education.

Setup Pack Chris off The legislation was steered through Parliament by EPP Group Member and Chairwoman of the Culture and Education Committee, Doris Pack. She fought for a sharp increase in what´s been a successful program.
Doris Pack, German MEP We have at least in this time of crisis so to say we have increased by more than 40 percent. It´s great. And especially for Erasmus itself, for those student programs, we have a lot of new possibilities that have not been there before. ... If we don´t have educated people, you can forget any employability. We need people with languages, we need people with intercultural experiences. This is what we can do.

Pack in action Chris off Madame Pack says Erasmus Plus is the kind of pan-European program the EU is well-positioned to carry out, beyond national programs.
Chris on That´s all for now from the Strasbourg session. See you next week from Brussels.
Chris on And find out more about the largest force in parliament by checking Thanks for watching!
Headline European Parliament secures new EU budget with job-creating funds for R&D, SMEs and Erasmus.
Description After months of tough negotiations, the European Parliament has secured a new budget that limits the cuts and promotes job-creation. Despite a limited budget, the 7-year spending plan through 2020 calls for more funding for research and development through the Horizon 2020 program, the COSME program for SMEs and the Erasmus Plus education program.
Tags European Parliament, EPP Group, MFF, EU budget, Horizon 2020, COSME, SMEs, R&D, research and development, Erasmus, education, Joseph Daul, Maria Da Graça Carvalho, Paul Rübig, Doris Pack, Brussels, Strasbourg
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