Research spending cuts feared

October 15, 2004

The planned doubling of the European Union research budget could lead to cuts by national governments in their own programmes, the EU research commissioner-designate has warned.

Speaking at a European Parliament hearing ahead of his taking office in November, Janez Potocnik said: "We have to be careful that there is no reaction among member-states that they reduce national spending on research."

He argued that negotiations over boosting budgets for the EU framework programme to €40 billion (£.7 billion) needed to be achieved alongside commitments from national governments that they would ring-fence spending. "We have to commit member states to do their part," he said.

Mr Potocnik's confirmation in his job is all but assured after MEPs welcomed his comments at the hearing. The Slovenian is in favour of encouraging the public to accept research that some consider ethically and environmentally dubious. He has said that studies on stem cells "should not be ruled out" where they promised to "help thousands" fight serious illness. On biotechnology, research had been "too burdened by the GM effect" and was "extremely important" for industry. And on nuclear fusion, with a decision looming on whether Europe should build a model reactor, he said the EU should "not close an option that's promising".

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns