The Juncker Plan: Negotiations stalled
by Ingemar Pongratz
The European Fund for Strategic Investment, also known as EFSI or Juncker Plan is likely to be delayed.
The Juncker Plan has encountered fierce opposition from the European Academic sector as part of the funding is planned to be transferred from the Horizon 2020 funding scheme. In particular, the Scientific Excellence priority is expected to provide a considerable amount of the funds to make EFSI operation.
Academic organization at the European level have approached key legislators and voiced their concern regarding the effects of the plans to support EFSI with Horizon 2020. In fact, the European Parliament, while positive to the EFSI plan itself has also expressed considerable concern about the plans to drain Horizon 2020 funding.
At the same time, the European Investment Bank reported that the initial structural projects to receive funding from EFSI have been identified. This report naturally infuriated the members of the European Parliament as the political process is still ongoing and the opinion is that the European Investment Bank should wait for the legislative process to take its course.
The latest developments are not positive. The European University Association and the Royal Society of Chemistry report that the negotiations between the European Commission and the European Parliament are locked. The Parliament refuses to agree to the diversion of Horizon 2020 to EFSI that the European Council proposes. In fact, the parties do not really agree on what they disagree upon, as reported by the EUobserver.com. Clearly, the position seems locked.
At the same time recent reports published by Science|Business show EU Innovation performance has dropped, mainly due to lack of funds for innovation. In fact, the EU is outperformed by the US, Korea and Japan. Obviously, funding for investments are required soon…
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