The European Parliament has agreed a budget of €54,582 million for the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), which runs from 2007 to 2013. It is a 40% annual increase in real terms on the previous funding tranche, but some €20 billion lower than the European Commission's (EC's) original proposals.
The research and technological development block funding is broken up into €50,521 million for the European Community programme (not covered by Euratom) and €2751 million – down from the EC's proposed €3092 million – for the Euratom programme, which runs from 2007 to 2011. An unconfirmed total of €1310 million is to be given to the Euratom programme for the period 2012 to 2013.
Energy (outwith Euratom) receives €2350 million; with a parliamentary compromise resulting in renewables and end use energy efficiency accounting for the “major part” of this, rather than the two-thirds which was originally proposed. Coordinating issues relating to rational and efficient use of energy have been given special attention.
Amongst the changes from the previous FP6 are that the European Community programme will run for seven years instead of the usual five and two new topics, space and security, have been added to the existing four (cooperation, ideas, people, and capacities).
In terms of Euratom, the amended FP7 proposals fund nuclear research and training activities in two programmes, covering indirect actions into fusion, nuclear fission and radiation protection. Another covers direct actions in the nuclear field undertaken by the Joint Research Centre (JRC).
FP7 allocates €1947 million to fusion research and €287 million for nuclear fission and radiation protection. €517 million is reserved for nuclear activities of the JRC. In general, FP7 Euratom aims to contribute to further consolidation of the European Research Area in the nuclear energy sector.
Janez Potocnik, European commissioner for science and research, said the Iter project is of “paramount importance” and continued: “On the Euratom JRC specific programme, I share the request expressed by the parliament that JRC ‘in view of the threat to preventing the possible loss of knowledge and a lack of new scientists and engineers in the area of nuclear technology, will aim at retaining knowledge ensuring that this knowledge is readily available, properly organised and well documented’.”
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