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EU budget for 2023 and new calls for proposals in higher education and research

On 23 November, members of the European Parliament adopted the EU budget for 2023, following the end of ‘conciliation’ talks with the Council (see for more details ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, October 2022). In a deal with member states which was reached on Monday, 14 November, the Parliament obtained EUR 1.05 billion for its priorities on top of what the Commission had initially proposed in the draft budget. The total budget 2023 is EUR 186.6 billion in commitments, with payments set at EUR 168.7 billion.

MEPs secured additional funding for education programmes, supplementing Erasmus+ with EUR 120 million to support students and teachers from Ukraine, and the “Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument” (NDICI – Global Europe) for the EU’s Southern and Eastern neighbourhood with EUR 280 million.

This political decision was important for the launch of the Erasmus+ call for proposals 2023 and the publication of the Erasmus+ Programme Guide 2023, issued by the European Commission on 23 November. With an annual budget of EUR 4.2 billion, Erasmus+ is increasing its support for inclusion, active citizenship and democratic participation, and green and digital transformations in the EU and internationally.

Importantly, minimum and maximum mobility grant ranges defined by National Agencies have been increased by 12% to address the soaring inflation in the Eurozone and students’ related financial concerns. It is however to be seen that this increase of grant levels does not result in a lower number of mobilities that can be funded overall. Cooperation partnerships grant amounts remained, however, unchanged following the switch to three single lump sums model. Related adjustments would be needed as well in the context of the energy crisis and the growing university infrastructure maintenance costs.

The Commission also published the draft 2023 Work Programme under Horizon Europe, aiming for synergies with higher education under the calls for proposals within “Widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area” and “Culture, creativity and inclusive society”.