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In September 2016, the European Commission put forward to the Council of Ministers of the European Union (EU) and the European Parliament a proposal for a mid-term review of the EU's multi-annual financial framework (MFF). This mid-term revision was to help the EU better respond to a series of new or increased challenges – tackling the migration crisis, strengthening security, and boosting growth and creating jobs. It was also meant to generally increase the flexibility of the seven-year budgetary framework (2014-2020), allowing the EU to respond more easily to unexpected needs without changing the MFF expenditure ceilings and avoiding excessive backlog of unpaid bills. In its related Staff Working Document (SWD(2016), 299) the Commission proposed an increase in the foreseen budget of Erasmus+ by EUR 200 million and in that of Horizon 2020 (H2020) by EUR 400 million, both of which were judged as crucial for boosting growth and creating jobs.
In its meeting of 7 March 2017, the EU’s General Affairs Council agreed to adjust the MFF 2014-2020 by EUR 6 billion, to bring it in line with the new priorities. With regards to the two programmes, the Council’s Conclusions endorse budgetary increases of EUR 100 million for Erasmus+ and EUR 200 million for H2020, i.e. half the amounts put forward in the Commission’s proposal. In its plenary meeting in Strasbourg, on 5 April 2017, the European Parliament adopted via a resolution a common position on the budgetary increases with the Council of Ministers. The final step – the formal approval of the Council of Ministers is expected in the following weeks.
Of the additional EUR 100 million agreed for Erasmus+, EUR 50 million have already been foreseen for activities agreed under the 2017 annual budget, mostly in the areas of mobility in education and training, initiatives related to social inclusion and combating extremism, and new activities.
The same is true for H2020, for which part of the EUR 200 million, i.e. EUR 50 million more specifically, was already adopted through the 2017 budget. The breakdown of the additional funding follows proportionally the Commission's proposal of October 2017: