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EP confirmed the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020/ Life and Horizon 2020

The European Parliament gave its consent yesterday, Tuesday 19th November, to the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) of the EU as the final agreement met the Parliamentarians’’ requests. Dr. Romana Jordan MEP said, that she has closely followed the setting up of the Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE), as well as the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020, where  she has been a member of the EPP Working group. She believes that both Programmes include good solutions, which will render our cooperation easier and enable better inclusion of projects presented from the part of Slovenian citizens, businesses and other institutions. MEP Jordan hopes that Slovenia will be able to formulate good national sectorial policies with a European vocation in order to allow for an efficient acquisition of EU funds. First calls from the Horizon 2020 are expected already on 11th December 2013.”

Background

LIFE Programme was established in 1992 and is the most important programme for financing projects in the field of environment. The MFF 2014-2020 foresees 3,456 billion Euros for LIFE Programme, which is 0,917 billion Euros more than in the previous seven years. The main changes in LIFE 2014-2020 Programme are the following: possibility to finance not only environment related projects but also those related to climate change, a clearer definition of multiannual work programmes and new possibilities of wider implementation of programmes with the help of so called “integrated projects” intended to mobilize finances from Structural and Cohesion funds as well as private funds. The level of co-financing is set at 50-60% in general and 75% for priority species, habitats and less developed regions. National allocations remain in place during the first period of the programme for those projects related to environment, and technical help is established for countries, which face certain challenges in acquiring funds. In Slovenia, a number of projects have already been successfully implemented under this programme. It is of an outmost importance for Slovenia, as a country with a very big area protected under NATURA 2000, which is one of priority areas of LIFE Programme.

 Horizon 2020 Programme will in the coming seven years finance research and innovation projects, presented by Universities and research institutes as well as individuals and businesses. Between 2014 and 2020, the Horizon 2020 is allocated over 70 billion Euros, together with the Euratom programme for research in nuclear energy. The programme is constructed around three pillars and a number of priority areas. The first pillar “Excellent science” contains basic research projects, while the second pillar “Industrial leadership” is intended for research projects in businesses in order to support innovation in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The third pillar “Societal challenges” foresees financing of projects, which include research and utilization of results for addressing some societal issues and allowing a transition into a sustainable economy. The European parliament achieved some important additions to the Horizon 2020 programme throughout the negotiations. Of particular importance is the creation of a new budget line in the Programme, which is intended for those Member States that have not yet been very successful in cooperating in the research programmes. In addition, the Parliament also succeeded in adding a provision specifying that 20% of funds from the second and third pillar are to be reserved for the SMEs. This will allow small entrepreneurs to acquire funds for development and production of their innovations as well as support the product-placement on the market. The programme will in particular aim at supporting the start-up phases of new SMEs. Finally, the Parliament achieved additional funds for Marie Skłodowska Curie actions for young researchers and additional emphasis was given for projects in the fields of “Secure, clean and efficient energy” and “Climate change and resource efficiency”.

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