Initiative for Science Europe and Nobel Laureates meet EU leaders to resist budget cuts

The Initiative for Science Europe (of which EERA is a member) and a delegation of Nobel Laureates, including Sir Tim Hunt and Jules Hoffmann, will today (Nov 15) meet the European Parliament President Martin Schulz, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Commission President José Manuel Barroso, to urge EU leaders to secure the future budget for research and innovation Horizon 2020.

They will hand over an open letter, signed by 44 Nobel laureates and 6 Fields medallists, warning against the dramatic consequences of possible budget cuts in research and innovation. The delegation will also draw attention to a petition “No cuts on research” in support of this cause; to date signed by over 131 000 citizens in Europe and across the globe.

These Europe-wide initiatives are launched ahead of the 22-23 November European summit on the overall EU budget for 2014 till 2020. Today’s initiative aims to preserve the European Commission’s proposed budget for 2014-2020 (€ 80 billion, see EC press release) thus ensuring that research and innovation do not suffer from disproportionate cuts when compared to other programmes.

Building upon the letter, young researchers from various scientific fields launched a petition coordinated by the Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE), making an appeal to EU leaders for not making cuts to the research budget. Within hours, thousands of citizens signed it across all EU member states and worldwide and to date, they are over 131 000. The petition will be handed in to the three EU Presidents.