Budget cuts in Europe threaten science research and economic
22 Oct 2010
Euroscience, the European Association for the Promotion of
Science and Technology, has issued a statement warning of the dangers of
government budget cuts across Europevfor science and economic
"Across the European Union and the wider Europe, governments are
engaged in cutting public expenditure and we are entering an
unprecedented period of austerity.
Thus, public support for research is now at risk in a manner not
seen before and just at the time when Europe faces new challenges
from the rising new economies, especially in Asia, and when threats
to our quality of life from climate change, demographic change and
energy, food and resource availability and sustainability are
becoming evermore threatening and urgent.
This undermines the EU Lisbon process, to create a leading
knowledge-based economy which must remain as the aim of governments
and societies across Europe.
Governments reduce spending on science education and on research
at our and future generations’ peril. Science and technology is a
long-term investment not a commodity that can be turned on and off
at will without any real effect. It is a long-term investment to
underpin and secure our future prosperity and quality of life.
Euroscience, the European organisation for the promotion of
science and technology and the grassroots voice of researchers
across Europe, expresses its alarm and concern at the short-termism
of many governments, apart from a few notable exceptions, in Europe
as they react to the financial crisis.
Investment in research across all disciplines must be sustained
in order to provide the framework for future advances and the
well-being of European society, particularly when faced with
increased research budgets in many other parts of the World.
The threat of a new ‘brain drain’ is now real. The Lisbon and
Barcelona target of 3% GERD, of which one third must come from
public sources, must remain and, with determination on the part of
governments, is achievable. Not only is it attainable but it is
absolutely necessary when other countries and regions especially the
new economies in Asia and South America are substantially increasing
their investment in research.
Euroscience is deeply concerned at proposed cuts in research
investment in the UK, Spain, Italy and several other countries just
at the time when the excellence of our research is proven by all the
accepted output indicators.
It must be remembered that society has agreed to pay the debt of
the financial system — we have literally ‘socialised’ their debt.
The size of what we would need to secure the steady progress of
science in Europe is negligible in comparison with the help provided
for the financial system and higher R&D investment is a means of
tackling the financial crisis and increasing long-term economic
Euroscience urges governments of all political persuasions across
Europe to recognise the critical importance of research investment
to our future economic success, deplores proposed cuts to science
budgets and urges the EU, collectively and individually, to sustain
public investment in science and technology at this critical
juncture in our economic development.
The actions of the European Union itself through European
Research Area and future EU Framework Programmes as well as the
Innovation Union should also recognise this necessity."
For more information on Euroscience see: