On 16 September 2014, a debate was held in the European Parliament on structural funding for Horizon 2020 during which new budgetary issues were highlighted.
The Commission will see a shortfall of 40% of funding commitments to researchers which could lead to the Commission failing to make good on their contractual arrangements and putting many research projects under threat.
In a statement, Commissioner for Research and Innovation Máire Geoghegan-Quinn stated that “In practical terms, this will impact around 600 collaborative projects under Horizon 2020, involving more than 7,000 participations, of which around 1,400 are SMEs”.
The reason for this shortfall is the continuing policy of the Commission to push the budget forward into the next fiscal year leading to a build-up of debt which now amounts to over 1 billion euro. The Commissioner for Research was very outspoken about this issue suggesting that this problem affects the very perception of the EU as a reliable place to do research.
A vote by the European Council who will ultimately decide how this shortfall is to be met will be held on 26 November 2014.
More information is available here.