Brussels, 31 January 2006
Roger Kaliff, head of the Swedish delegation in the Committee of the Regions, is one of the leading signatories of a petition urging the Austrian Presidency and 24 other Member State governments to reconsider severe EU budget cuts which threaten to undermine projects aimed at boosting competitiveness and innovation.
The petition, backed by more than 50 high-level figures from politics, industry and research, will be handed over to Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel at the European Parliament in Brussels this evening (31 January).
The budget deal agreed by EU leaders last December envisages a swingeing cut in the competitiveness and innovation programme, from the EUR 4.2 billion recommended by the European Commission to only EUR 1.9 billion over seven years.
Mr Kaliff and his fellow signatories warn that this level of budget is incompatible with the EU’s ambitions for growth and jobs. They are urging Member States to think again before the budget is finalised following negotiations between the Commission, Council and European Parliament.
Mr Kaliff chairs the Sydsam-South ‘region of excellence’ in Sweden, which receives funding from the Commission’s Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry through its PAXIS programme for innovative start-ups.
He said: “The CIP (Competitiveness and Innovation Programme) needs adequate resources to support better innovation policy and practice. European innovation networks such as PAXIS ... are helping us to develop excellent support mechanisms for innovative enterprises and to learn from colleagues in other European regions.”
The petition handover will take place at 18.45 in the Paul-Henri Spaak building, 3rd floor Protocol Room (next to the plenary chamber).
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