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Q: How will the construction of ITER be financed?
A: When the Council capped the budget for ITER construction at EUR 6.6 billion in July 2010 it did not prescribe the modalities by which this funding would be provided. The Commission’s proposals for these modalities have now been presented in its Communication 'A Budget for Europe 2020' (COM(2011)500).
The Commission’s view is that experience of large projects in the EU shows that they tend to be expensive in relation to the EU budget, and cost overruns trigger a need to redeploy funds that had already been earmarked for other priority needs. Recent examples of such redeployments (Galileo, the Food Facility and the European Economic Recovery Plan) show that reaching an agreement requires complex and time-consuming negotiations and can drastically compress the margins available for other headings. This needs to be addressed in the coming MFF, which does not have provisions for a mid-term review.
To ensure flexibility when it comes to adjusting to unexpected events and new priorities a sustainable solution is required. The Commission is therefore proposing to fund ITER outside the MFF. This approach should ensure the success of the project at acceptable cost and with reasonable financial and technical risks, enabling the EU to fully meet its international commitments.
The practical implementation for funding ITER construction is currently under discussion at the Commission level. In any case, all solutions under consideration imply the adoption of a separate legal basis, which means that ITER could not be included in the Horizon 2020 package adopted on 30 November 2011.
For further information please see : Horizon 2020 web site
Category : Horizon 2020