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Following negotiations between the European Parliament (EP) and the Council on the EU’s 2019 budget in December last year and the EP’s proposals to triple Erasmus+ budget (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe February 2019 and March 2019), on 15 May 2019, the European Commission (EC) recommended that EUR 100 million more should be made available for Horizon 2020 and the successor scheme of Erasmus+. The (still) European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, Günther H. Oettinger, announced that this top-up to what was already foreseen "is great news for researchers and students in Europe as they will be able to count on more support from the EU for their projects". Given the minimalist increase, this verdict would not be comprehensible to anybody but a thrifty Swabian (Oettinger is one).
According to the EU Commission’s, EUR 80 million are to go to research and innovation (Horizon 2020), earmarked mostly for climate-related research (which is to receive 35% of the total Horizon 2020 budget). The remaining EUR 20 million are for Erasmus+, the EU's programme for education, training, youth and sport in Europe. In particular, this amount is to top up the budget for the European Universities initiative in the framework of the European Education Area. The proposal, which needs to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council, will increase the total budget for research and for student mobility in 2019 to EUR 15.2 billion.