EU budget cuts to research, Erasmus not acceptable -parliament chief

BRUSSELS, July 22 (Reuters) - Proposed cuts in the EU’s long-term budget for research and the Erasmus programme to support education are not acceptable, European Parliament President David Sassoli said on Wednesday.

“There is a proposal on the table, but we would like to improve that, above all by trying to give answers to some of the cuts that we’ve deemed unjustified,” he told a news conference a day after European Union leaders agreed on 1.1 trillion euro ($1.27 trillion) budget for the bloc from 2021-27.

“We cannot cut the budget for research and young people and Erasmus, we can’t,” he added.

Sassoli said negotiations on the long-term budget would be needed before parliament approves it, but the assembly was already “very satisfied” with an attached 750 billion euro fund to help EU economies recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

He said a final parliament vote on both packages would be in a couple of months. ($1 = 0.8670 euros) (Reporting by Robin Emmott and John Chalmers)