MEP for Dublin, Nessa Childers, welcomed the outcome of today’s votes in the Environment Committee and in the Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the European Parliament to safeguard a number of crucial EU funding lines, including multi-year research and development budgets.
Ms. Childers, who took part in the Environment Committee vote, also voiced her appreciation for the narrow victory secured by her political group in the Industry Committee, where the ring-fencing of €5 billion for energy efficiency projects was secured.
Speaking from Brussels after the vote, Ms. Childers said:
“Commission President Juncker’s investment plan is important. If anything, we would like to see an even greater level of budgetary commitment devoted to it.
“However, whatever stimulus for growth and productive investment it will achieve cannot be brought about by axing programmes such as Horizon 2020 or the Connecting Europe facility.
“Some of our finest academics have been up in arms about this sleight of hand and rightly pointed out that we are talking about programmes with different scopes and criteria that have to be met to secure funding.
“In the current decade, we need public support for world-class research and innovation no less than we did prior to the launch of his programme.
“Likewise, there are other crucial EU financial vehicles which we have already agreed upon and secured that must remain available for investment in badly needed transport, energy and digital connection infrastructures.
“We want to build up the guarantee fund for Juncker’s investment plan progressively, through monies from the EU annual budgets as they become available, not by axing multiannual budget allocations we’ve worked hard to get through, in absolutely critical areas.”