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Less Than Anticipated for Science

A European Union budget deal provides less funding than expected for its Horizon Europe research program, Science reports.

The seven-year budget of €1.8 trillion (US $2.1 trillion) includes €81 billion for Horizon Europe, which is about €5 billion less than the European Commission proposed in May, Nature News adds. This, Science notes, means the core Horizon Europe budget is about the same as the budget of its predecessor program, Horizon 2020. 

The EU budget also includes a €750 billion fund to help recover from COVID-19, but only €5 billion of that is going toward science, Nature News reports, adding that too is less than the €13.5 billion the EC anticipated would be allocated. Additionally, none of the recovery funds are to go toward European Research Council, Nature News reports. Science adds this could lead to a decline in the ERC budget next year, as it typically spends more later on in its seven-year funding cycle.

Kurt Deketelaere, secretary-general of the League of European Research Universities, tells Science these cuts are "a major disappointment and a breach of trust."

Nature News notes that the budget won't be finalized until after additional talks later this summer.