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Bruegel’s Reinhilde Veugelers on R&D and smart fiscal consolidation 

Are R&D budgets being smartly used to address growth? How is the crisis affecting public Research & Development budgets across the EU? Reinhilde Veugelers discusses these issues, ahead of the release of her publication, scheduled for this week on Bruegel’s website.

“It is important to have smart consolidators, who take a long-term perspective to assess the effects of R&D programmes, and are serious about ex-ante and ex-post evaluation,” she explains. “The EU Commission should use macro modelling and a consistent framework to evaluate the effectiveness of each country’s proposal.”

According to her research, serious evaluations of the growth effects of public R&D budgets have not yet been carried out. The EU Commission seems reluctant to support the expansion of these programmes, given the lack of evidence on their effectiveness, and does not implement the investment clause procedure that is available.

Veugelers also points to the increasing divide on spending among strong and weaker innovation countries.