Brussels, 07 Jul 2005
Thousands of scientists from across Europe have signed a petition organised by the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) and the European Life Sciences Forum (ELSF) calling for a 'very significant' increase in funding for research under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
The two organisations launched the petition in response to the Luxembourg Presidency's proposed budget compromise of 2 June, which included a cut in funding for FP7 of around 40 per cent compared with the Commission's original proposals. To date, well over 13,000 scientists have already signed the petition, and new names are currently being added at the rate of around 1,000 per day.
The petition reads: 'As a reaction to the recent breakdown of discussions on the future budget of the EC, we, the undersigned scientists, call on the political leaders in Europe to match their words on research, the knowledge-based economy and the Lisbon Agreement by ensuring a very significant increase in the budget for the Seventh Framework Programme.'
It continues: 'For the economic future of European citizens, investment in research cannot be relegated to an option that can be discarded. Now is the time to ensure that the Europe of the future will be strong by providing the resources that are essential for a knowledge-based economy.'
EMBO's executive director, Frank Gannon, remarked: 'The response of the scientific community sends a clear message to the political leaders in Europe. Science is not a luxury item in modern society. It is the basis of our well-being. The proposal to cut the budget for research suggests that this message needs to be reaffirmed at a political level.
The petition is open to scientists of all disciplines, and the results are being communicated to EU Heads of State and Government and ministers for finance and research.
To see the petition or to add your name, please consult the following web address: