Conservative MEPS protect EU funding for Scottish universities
Ian Duncan MEP has warmly welcomed a Conservative led deal to defend EU funding for Scottish Universities and Colleges. In an agreement struck today MEPs protected EU research funding, known as Horizon 2020, from a cut of €1billion and guaranteed resources for frontier science and exchanges of researchers across Europe. This means that EU money has been secured that will help to maintain Scotland's position at the forefront of research and innovation.
The overnight negotiations between MEPs and the European Council were part of the 'Juncker Plan' to create a European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) made up of €5 billion capital from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and a €16-billion guarantee fund. The fund is the brainchild of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and aims to ignite Europe's economy.
Commenting Dr Duncan said
'Protecting EU research funding for Scotland's universities and colleges is absolutely crucial. I am encouraged that the deal struck today recognises the contribution of research to the European economy.
'I am already detecting a change in attitude in the EU. The fact that the Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is willing to listen to our case and to change his plans is a clear sign that our calls for reform are being heard.
'Scotland benefits to the tune of €351 million from Horizon 2020 and given that this is a competitive fund, I am sure we will continue to punch above our weight in research terms.'
Notes to editors
1. European Commission Announcement http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-15-5064_en.htm
2. Ian Duncan is the Conservative MEP for Scotland