ERC and ERT concerned about proposed budget cuts
In a joint statement issued on 7 November 2014, the European Research Council (ERC) and the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) have expressed their concerns about the budget cuts the Council of Ministers proposed to the European Commission's draft budget for 2015, "notably in key areas supporting growth such as research and innovation".
According to ERC President Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon and ERT Chairman Dr. Kurt Bock, "the prosperity of Europe depends on maintaining its competitive edge and securing global innovation leadership positions". The R&D budget should serve the purpose of making Europe an "attractive place for research, investment and entrepreneurship". By comparison, the US, Japan and South Korea invest significantly more in R&D relative to GDP - another good reason for Europe not to cuts its R&D budget. They call the budget already adopted for Horizon 2020 "the bare minimum necessary for European research and industry" to meet the current societal challenges. Both organisations strongly advocate "avoiding any cut in the spending originally proposed for education, research and innovation".
The European Parliament and the Council of Ministers are currently conducting their "conciliation" talks on the EU budget, with the aim of reaching an agreement by 17 November 2014.
For the full text of the joint statement, please go to http://erc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/press_release/files/Joint_Letter_ERC-ERT.PDF
For more information on the conciliation talks see http://era.gv.at/object/news/1480TOP