The Gordian Knot is chopped
A full agreement was found at this week's trilogue of the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission on the funding of ITER for the next two years.
"I am relieved that the extra financial needs of ITER are now covered," stated EU Budget Commissioner Janusz Lewandowski. "The EU could not afford to lose credibility vis-à-vis its international partners involved in the project. Furthermore, I am pleased that this budgetary deal was made possible thanks to the positive spirit shown by the representatives of both the Council and the Parliament."
The "ad referendum" agreement will now have to be formally adopted by the two institutions according to their internal procedures. The agreement foresees the following breakdown of funds:
For further reading, see related articles in the European Voice (EU reaches deal on ITER funding), Science (Europe Finds €1.3 Billion Needed for ITER Overruns), and Nature (EU deal cuts ITER €1.2 billion deficit by €840 million, while sparing research budget).
- EUR 100 million that is already included in the 2012 budget on the ITER budget line;
- EUR 360 million in commitments that will be made available in the 2013 budget procedure without resorting to increasing the Multiannual Financial Framework ceilings;
- EUR 840 million in increased commitment ceilings in Heading 1a—competitiveness for growth and employment—for 2012 (EUR 650 million) and 2013 (EUR 190 million). The increase will be compensated by decreasing commitments in Heading 2 (Natural resources) by EUR 450 million in 2011 and Heading 5 (Administration) in 2011 and 2012 by EUR 390 million all together.
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