CONSERVATIVE MEP for Scotland Ian Duncan has welcomed a deal to defend EU funding for Scottish universities and colleges.
In an agreement struck today (Thursday 28th May 2015), MEPs protected EU research funding, known as Horizon 2020, from a cut of €1billion and guaranteed resources for frontier science and exchanges of researchers across Europe.
The overnight negotiations between MEPs and the European Council were part of the ‘Juncker Plan’ to create a European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) made up of €5 billion capital from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and a €16-billion guarantee fund.
The fund is the brainchild of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and aims to ignite Europe’s economy.
Dr Duncan said: “’Protecting EU research funding for Scotland’s universities and colleges is absolutely crucial.
“I am encouraged that the deal struck today recognises the contribution of research to the European economy.
He added: “I am already detecting a change in attitude in the EU.
“Scotland benefits to the tune of €351 million from Horizon 2020 and given that this is a competitive fund, I am sure we will continue to punch above our weight in research terms.”