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For a modern and competitive 2021-2027 EU budget

Within few months the EU Council will adopt the next Multiannual Financial Framework, which will set up the whole Union budget for 2021-27, as well as the funds allocation for each one of the main chapters, namely agriculture, cohesion and competitiveness, research and innovation.

By defining in which areas the EU should invest more or less over the seven years, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) is an expression of political priorities as well as a budgetary planning tool. Many institutional players of the first two above-mentioned chapters are already catalyzing the general public attention in order to underline the need of a larger budget over the next period.

As Representatives of the most important Research Organizations and Academia, you are perfectly aware that Horizon 2020, for its high ambition and targets, has been severely underfunded (as the mid-term report published in July 2017 clearly evidenced).

It is now the right time for recognizing research and research based innovation as the main drivers of EU competitiveness and growth. This opportunity will be pivotal to rethink R&I policies and investments in Europe, putting research and innovation at the forefront, towards full economic recovery, while aiming at a better welfare for EU citizens.

As Presidents of the main national RPOs, we have been felling committed to make a step in order to convey the wish of our peers, as well the expectations of those who feel confident that research and innovation deserves a key role in our society.
To this end, we conceived a "Manifesto", which briefly describes the current EU landscape and underlines the need of a more competitive Europe. We hope you could endorse it and share with your colleagues.

A European Manifesto “More Funds For Research&Innovation” Vision towards next MFF

The present EU political and economic landscape has been deeply influenced by the recent and severe economic crisis, which seems now to be almost passed over. Several Member States have begun to put in place structural reforms, in line with the indication of the Annual Growth Survey and its Country Specific Recommendations.

At the same time the perception, especially among younger generations, that the European Union, because of a heavy bureaucracy and a complex decision making process, is too far from the citizen’s problems (e.g. the unacceptable level of unemployment), is widely spread. In this scenario, research & innovation is becoming a precondition to our economy and to our society. Investing in new generations of high-value and high-quality goods and services is critical to promote growth and to reduce unemployment. These goals can arise only from providing new products and services derived from research, technological breakthroughs and innovation.

Such new opportunities can be the key to create an ecosystem for a resilient job market in knowledge intensive activities. This may also increase the consciousness that the European Union is taking fully effective actions to tackle such fundamental issues for its citizens. Evidence shows that much of recent productivity gains arise not only from wage adjustments but also from innovation, and that the Countries which invested more in research & innovation have been the most resilient during the economic crisis, and also those where the investments have been more efficient.

Scientific evidences and the new perspectives opened by the scientific progress have to be used as the sole references for the elaborations of new strategies toward a sustainable development of the European Union. Science brings a contribute to the wellbeing of the European citizens (which is the very target of the EU action) and the derived technologies will soon heavily affect our daily life.

Research and innovation must therefore, more than ever, be considered essential to re- launch Europe’s competitiveness, to create long-term-highly skilled jobs and to tackle societal challenges, bringing Europe back to its growth path. New technologies will largely and differently impacts on health, food & water, transport, communication, security, environment, energy, data production and protection, requiring a transition phase where research in all these domains will play a fundamental role.

It is now the right time for recognizing research and research-based innovation as the main drivers of EU competitiveness and growth. This opportunity will be pivotal to rethink R&I policies and investments in Europe, putting research and innovation at the forefront.

To this end, the forthcoming EU Multiannual Financial Framework will be a significant political challenge and constitutes a unique occasion for the EU Member states, through an adequate funding with substantial increase of the present budget allocation, to concretely translate these wishes into fact.

To endorse the Manifesto see www.mff4researchandinnovation.eu/individual-sign.php (individual endorsement)
or www.mff4researchandinnovation.eu/corporate-sign.php (corporate endorsement)