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The European Parliament’s rejection of the Council’s budget proposal 2007-2013 (see above) is now the only hope left with regard to proper funding for next generation of EU education, research and culture programmes. For, as became known only in January, the EU budget 2007-2013 agreed upon by the European Council in December has the potential to lead to an unwelcome limitation of funds for research, education and training in the future. As things stand now, and unless the EP’s position will result in an improvement, the foreseen increase in funding for the 7th Research Framework Programme will not materialise. Things look worst for the Youth and Culture programme, which will even drop substantially below its present funding level.
The budget of the new “Lifelong Learning Programme”, the successor of Socrates and Leonardo, will more or less stagnate at its present level, instead of trebling, as proposed by the EU Commission. The new action lines of the Lifelong Learning Programme, as well as the financial increases for existing ones, such as Erasmus mobility, will have to be scrapped.
Observers expect that the EP might manage to carve out a few billion more for the Union budget, a good share of which is expected to go into research and education. But there are strong doubts if this increase will be sufficient to provide the 7th Research Framework Programme and the Lifelong Learning Programme with the money necessary to attain the originally proposed funding levels.
ACA will lobby decision-makers in Brussels and elsewhere in order to limit the damage. Readers of ' ACA Newsletter - Education Europe' are encouraged to do so too, by supporting their MEPs and by trying to influence national governments.