Erasmus, the EU`s university exchange programme, has a budget of 21.2 billion euros, about 5 billion euros less than originally planned. Despite the haircut, the program will have much more than today. As part of the 2014-2020 budget, EUR 14.7 billion has been allocated to Erasmus to help 4 million Europeans study, train and gain experience abroad. The budget for the Digital Europe has been estimated at 6.76 billion euros, less than the Commission`s proposal of 8.19 billion euros. The program aims to encourage investment in key digital technologies such as high-performance computers, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. Digital Europe will work in synergy with Horizon Europe and the EU`s Connectivity Programme (Facilitie for Interconnection in Europe) to digitise the economy. The European Commission has launched a consultation on the direction of the first two years of its seven-year digital Europe programme. With a proposal of 9.2 billion euros, the first digital programme in first form will be to improve Europe`s competitiveness in the global digital economy and increase its technological autonomy by strengthening capacity, testing and using digital technologies. Digital It will complement other EU programmes, such as the proposed Horizon Europe programme for research and innovation and the mechanism for interconnection in Europe for digital infrastructure. The budget of the European space programme has been allocated 13.2 billion euros, of which 8 billion euros will be invested in the Galileo satellite navigation system and 4.81 billion euros for Copernicus, the European Earth observation programme. The Euroepan Commission has launched an online consultation. It will collect contributions from across the EU and will appeal to a number of stakeholders: SMEs and large companies, public administrations at all levels, research institutes and universities, NGOs, citizens` associations and individuals.
The contributions received will help the Commission develop work programmes and calls for proposals for the first two years of the programme (2021-2022). A draft guidance document for the preparation of the work programme is to be found The programme launched by the Commission aims to strengthen the EU`s international competitiveness and to develop and strengthen Europe`s strategic digital capabilities in five areas, while the green transition to climate neutrality is expected to take place by 2050 and guarantee technological sovereignty. Today`s new budget agreement by EU heads of state and government will reduce the scope of a wide range of programmes, including a new health programme, while protecting defence and space research budgets.