A proposal by member states to reduce next year’s research budget by almost half a billion euros will have “detrimental effects”, according to Romanian MEP and budget rapporteur Siegfried Mureşan.
In May the European Commission proposed a budget of €160.6bn for 2018. The council responded in July, asking for a €1.7bn reduction.
Under the council’s budget proposal, research would suffer the biggest losses.
Mureşan said: “Despite being a widely shared priority programme and a highly successful one, Horizon 2020 is the [worst] hit.”
Other cuts proposed by the council include €46m from the Galileo and Egnos satellite navigation programmes, €33m from the ITER nuclear fusion project and €20m from the Copernicus Earth observation programme.
Mureşan warned the cuts would put a number of ongoing research projects at risk, including the creation of new knowledge and innovation communities by the European Institute of Technology. Companies could withhold investment “if the EU budget fails to match it,” he added.
Cuts to nuclear research “would [also] prevent the Joint Research Centre (JRC) from paying the salaries of its staff,” Mureşan said.
The parliament must now conclude its review in time for all three institutions to reach a final agreement by 20 November.