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On 15 November, the European Parliament and the European Council reached an informal political agreement on the EU Budget for 2022, shortly before the deadline of the conciliation period.
The agreement is for commitments of EUR 169.5 billion, and payments of EUR 170.6 billion. The deal negotiated by the European Parliament includes an increase of EUR 479.1 million for its priorities on top of what the Commission proposed in the Draft budget.
The agreed budget will direct funds to the following programmes of relevance to the higher education and research sectors:
Members of the European Parliament were successful in increasing funding for programmes and policies which they consider essential for the post-pandemic recovery. These include Horizon Europe (+ EUR 100 million above the Commission’s draft budget), Erasmus+ (+ EUR 35 million) and LIFE programme (+ EUR 47.5 million).
The news on the additional funding for Erasmus+ has come shortly after the European Commission’s launch of the Erasmus+ work programme for 2022 and prior to the launch of the programme’s 2022 call for proposals (for more details, see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, November 2021).
This timeframe has left the Commission with a narrow window for making a decision on the distribution of the additional funds. One of the possible areas that could potentially benefit from the top-up funding includes the European Universities Initiative call 2022, where the major funding emphasis has been reportedly put on the support of the existing alliances with more limited resources available for funding brand new alliances.