“A Modern Budget for a Union that Protects, Empowers and Defends”. With this title the European Commission presented its proposal for the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MMF) for 2021-2027. Modernisation is one of the main objectives in this proposal, and this includes an increased emphasis on innovation, which is identified as a crucial driver of productivity and economic growth as well as a key means of addressing societal changes. For this reason, the proposed budget includes the "most ambitious Research and Innovation programme yet" of around €130 billion for 2021-2027.
In this policy brief authors Herman Beun, Marloes van Schaik and Adriaan Schout discuss the innovation potential of this MMF and consider the comparative position of the EU in terms of research and innovation, and identify bottlenecks for innovation in the EU. The conclusion is that most of the efforts to take away those bottlenecks must be made by Member States. However, the EU can make a meaningful contribution by identifying structural weaknesses, coordinating research efforts and networks, providing guarantees and funds, and enhancing quality by creating a competitive environment. If implemented well, the Commission’s MFF proposals do have that potential.