Liberal Democrat MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament’s Budget Committee George Lyon commented:
“Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament have consistently argued for a smaller EU budget that can be spent more effectively and is more targeted towards creating jobs and growth. That is exactly what the deal reached last week will deliver.
“We now need to concentrate on getting money out of the door to boost research and innovation in our universities, invest in infrastructure projects and tackle youth unemployment.
“Liberal Democrats will support the deal when it comes back for a final vote in September. Our priority right now should be delivering jobs and vital EU investment across the UK, not getting bogged down in endless negotiations in Brussels.”
Notes to Editors:
A final vote on the EU 2014-2020 budget deal reached last week is expected in September when a formal text has been approved.
Under the deal, funding for the ‘Competitiveness for Growth and Jobs” heading – which includes research and development funding and capital investment projects – will see an increase of 37% compared to the existing budget. This includes 70.2 billion euros for the Horizon 2020 research programme, of which universities and research institutes in the UK are some of the biggest recipients.
The deal will also see up to 2.54 billion euros frontloaded to 2014 and 2015, where it will be prioritised on projects to tackle youth unemployment, strengthen research and boost SMEs. This will complement efforts by the Liberal Democrats in government to create 1.2 million apprentices and 110,000 work placements for young people out of work since 2010.