On April 20th, the European Parliament finally approved Juncker’s European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), on the condition that changes be made regarding the role of the institution in the oversight of the EFSI and the provision of the budget.
Originally, this 315 billion euros fund designed to finance new infrastructures, green technology and IT projects was to be provisioned by a starting pot of 21 billion euros provided by the European Investment Bank (5 billion) and the European Commission (16 billion). However, the EC share was to be filled by reducing research and transport budgets, thus leading to the rise of many voices – in particular in scientists communities – expressing concerns and criticisms regarding those cuts. As a result, the EP eventually requested that “the Commission find alternative resources to finance the guarantee fund”.

The amended agreement will now be voted in June, provided that the Council follows suit, but this decision already comes as very good news for transport and research actors. The European Brain Council is therefore pleased of the outcomes of this vote, given our dedication to promote brain research in Europe. We trust that promoting research is a condition for Europe’s economic recovery in the long run, in particular in the health sector where it is the basis for early diagnosis, better treatment and improved care. For this reason, we believe that the choice of the EP to save research and transport budgets will benefit to the European Society as a whole.