The European Parliament today voted to adopt a series of legislative files setting out the EU's research and innovation funding programme 2014-20, Horizon 2020. The Greens gave a broad welcome to the programme but expressed regret that it failed to clearly exclude firms from illegal Israeli settlements from receiving EU funds. Commenting after the vote, Green innovation spokesperson Philippe Lamberts said:
"The overall direction of the EU's research and innovation programme is clearly positive. However, the final outcome is overshadowed both by the reduced ambition of the overall budget and the failure to ensure watertight provisions excluding firms located in the illegal Israeli settlements from benefitting from Horizon 2020 funds.
"The Greens are happy that sustainable energy will be prioritised and that resource efficiency and sustainability will be a focus throughout Horizon 2020. 85% of funds for energy research are earmarked for sustainable energy research. SMEs will get earmarked funds and there will be a social aspect to research and innovation. However, there are serious concerns about the governance of the so-called 'Joint Undertakings' and that this will undermine the ability to fill public policy goals, and play into the hands of large companies to dictate research agendas and subsequent intellectual property decisions."