Published: Thu, 27 June 2013
Seán Kelly MEP (Ireland South) has welcomed today’s political agreement on the EU’s €960 billion Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF), securing billions of euros of funds for education, training and science programmes.
Up to €2.5 billion may be frontloaded in 2014 and 2015 to tackle youth employment, improve research and apprenticeships opportunities and support SMEs, according to Mr Kelly.
Education & training
“I am particularly happy to confirm that the institutions also backed my calls for increased support for education, sports and training. In fact, over 4 million people will benefit from EU grants for education, training and sports to the tune of €16 billion over the next seven years.
“Our students will continue to learn language skills under the highly successful Erasmus study abroad programme, while finance will be provided to back up our universities and ITs in carrying out research.
“I welcome the agreement and am confident that MEPs will give it the final go-ahead in the coming days, in order to secure Europe’s future economic growth. Young people are our future so I have always advocated an educational, training focus to maintain a skilled labour force to meet emerging market demands across new technologies, delivering job creation.”
Science & research
“€70 billion is earmarked to support innovation and job creation under the EU research programme, Horizon 2020, subject to an anticipated final approval on the EU budget in the coming weeks,” Mr Kelly said in Brussels today, as a member of the Parliament’s Industry Committee.
“Horizon will focus on new science innovation in technology with specific supports for SMEs and industry like nanotechnologies, biotechnologies and ICT. Europe will lead research in critical areas of climate change, health, food security and transport and energy thanks to new funding.
Mr Kelly also pointed to Ireland’s solid reputation as a technology and research hub. “I want to see Ireland’s universities, laboratories and tech sector seize the massive funding opportunities soon to be finalised at EU level.
“In hosting a major science conference in Brussels earlier this year, I brought key stakeholders from Ireland and Europe together to raise awareness of the upcoming funding potential. Now is the time to seize that opportunity so that Ireland can become the technology and research heart of Europe.”
EU aid for the deprived is set at 2.5 billion though Member States can increase their allocations by up to 1 billion euro on a voluntary basis.
The Fine Gael MEP paid tribute to Ireland’s highly successful EU Presidency which has delivered several crucial agreements in recent days, including a reform of the CAP.