This May the European Commission revealed its proposal for the EU budget for the next programming period 2021-2027. The final budget will be announced in 2019, but the main trend is clear – a 5% cut in the Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy allocation, and at the same time a planned increase in a number of items. The budget for the Erasmus+ program for educational exchange will be doubled. The funds spent on the defence of borders and dealing with migration and refugees will be raised from EUR 12.4 billion to EUR 33 billion. The defence fund will go up 22 times from EUR 0.6 billion to nearly EUR 13 billion. An increase of 64% is also envisaged for the funds for research, innovation and digitization. The digitization budget for the 2021-2027 programming period will jump by 96% to EUR 28 billion, including all programs and agencies, such as scientific research, the Digital Europe Program, the MEDIA Program, the European Cyber Security Agency and the Agency of European Regulators.
Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, shared data about the main programs and priorities in the new budget in front of journalists in Sofia and in her social networks.
#EUbudget 2021-2017 brings greatest ever #EUinvestment in #Digitisation through new #DigitalEuropeProgramme = €9bln This is significant step forward in putting the #EU back on track for being at forefront of #DigitalTransformation benefiting directly our #Citizens & #Businesses pic.twitter.com/T4UjwbjUAw
— Mariya Gabriel (@GabrielMariya) May 11, 2018
The funds for the MEDIA program will grow by over 30% to EUR 1.2 billion. MEDIA is the EU’s program supporting the European film and audiovisual industry by providing new ways to distribute and promote legitimate online content, to use data and automated content recommendation instruments, by supporting animation sector development, etc.
The Connecting Europe Facility is planned to be boosted by EUR 1 to 3 billion for digital infrastructure, which will help reduce the existing disparities between the urban and rural areas. Currently, the connectivity in cities is 76% and under 40% in rural areas.
The budget for research and innovation is the largest one so far, with a strong focus on digital transformation. The increase of the budget for digitization in this direction is over EUR 2.5 billion.
The Digital Europe Program is new to the EU and will have an independent budget of EUR 9 million. The program’s priorities are as follows:
On the occasion of the presentation of the budget, EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel commented on her official Facebook profile: ‘We are sending a clear signal that Europe wants to modernize traditional policies such as cohesion and agriculture, but also has the courage to invest in new areas that no Member State can manage independently, such as the digital field. With this new program, Europe sends a strong signal that digitization is a long-term priority for us, based on the interests of citizens and businesses. We hereby say that we want Europe to regain the world’s leading position. We want the digital transformation to be a process that does not exclude anyone.’
For more details on the presented budget, the following files are available for download on the European Commission’s website: