F4E Director presents ITER status to the European Parliament

Marc Lachaise, F4E Director presenting the status of ITER at the Budgetary Committee of the European Parliament, 19 July 2023 ©F4E

In preparation for the annual EU budget, the European Parliament Budget Committee holds specific exchange of views with EU institutions and Agencies. The draft budget for 2024 was on the agenda for the exchange of views that took place on 19 July 2023 with the EU Agencies, represented by the Director of EIOPA, currently chairing the EU Agencies Network. Fusion for Energy (F4E) and Europol were also invited to provide an overview of their work and budgetary needs for 2024.

F4E Director Marc Lachaise provided to the Committee information on the status of F4E activities. He underlined that the ITER project is at a critical moment facing some technical and regulatory difficulties and working to produce a new baseline (timeline, milestones and key dates). The project experiences some further delays, which affects temporarily the full implementation of the budget earmarked for F4E in the current Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF). He stressed that despite the difficult circumstances F4E continues delivering EU contributions to the project in many areas, and work is ongoing in various industries across Europe under F4E contracts.

The F4E Director highlighted the significant investment that ITER represents for EU industry and the important benefits and spin-offs generated. He finished his presentation by assuring the members of the Parliament that F4E will continue to provide an accurate and transparent picture of the progress of the project and ensuring effective use of EU funding in line with evolving project needs.

In replying to questions from various MEPs on the budgetary forecast for the years 2025-2027, Marc Lachaise informed the EP that before a new baseline is agreed by the ITER Council, it is impossible to accurately forecast budgetary figures for the future. The exchange of views provided an excellent opportunity to inform the budgetary committee of the progress of ITER. In his final words, the F4E Director extended an invitation to the Committee members to visit the ITER