Brussels, 30 May 2005
The chair of the Parliament's industry, research and energy (ITRE) committee, Giles Chichester, has written to the European Parliament President Josep Borrell to express the 'alarm and disappointment' felt by MEPs within the committee at proposals from the Luxembourg Presidency to cut the EU research budget for 2007-2013.
According to Mr Chichester, the changes to the financial perspectives proposed by the Presidency 'would imply a substantial reduction (of the order of 30 per cent or more) in the budgetary resources for the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) compared to those proposed by the Commission.'
In his letter, the ITRE committee chair argues: '[S]uch a reduction as proposed by the Luxembourg Presidency would have detrimental consequences for the consolidation and development of the European scientific and technological base and the boost to the competitiveness of European industry essential for a credible relaunch of the Lisbon strategy.'
He continues: 'In its resolution [...] on future EU policy to support research, the Parliament took a clear position on the ambitious financial resources that should be allocated for FP7. This position, which the Parliament regards as 'a minimum not to be questioned during the negotiations on the financial perspectives', is consistent with the FP7 budgetary envelope proposed by the Commission.'
The letter concludes by asking Mr Borrell to urge the Luxembourg Presidency to ensure that research policy receives funding 'commensurate to the ambition of the Lisbon Strategy'. The Parliament is expected to adopt a position on the financial perspectives at a plenary session in Strasbourg on 8 June.