Science|Europe: Proposed cuts to Horizon 2020 are wrong, says EU Research Commissioner
Scientists need to call their governments and complain, Carlos Moedas said as he vowed to make his case to ministers of science and finance.
Article by Éanna Kelly, Science|Business
EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas has sharply criticised a proposal from member state governments to cut almost half a billion euros out of the Horizon 2020 research programme.
“I think the cuts are wrong,” the Commissioner told a Science|Business conference on Wednesday. “How can you [cut the science budget], in a Europe that wants to be top of development, first in class?” he said.
In May, the Commission proposed a budget of €160.6 billion for 2018. The Council responded in July, asking for a €1.7 billion reduction, in a proposed budget that would see research suffer the biggest losses.
The proposed cuts, which have also met with strong opposition from members of the European Parliament, include €46 million from the Galileo and Egnos satellite navigation programmes, €33 million from the ITER nuclear fusion project and €20 million from the Copernicus Earth-observation programme.
Romanian MEP and budget rapporteur Siegfried Mureşan warned last week that the cuts will have a detrimental effect, putting a number of ongoing research projects at risk, including the creation of new knowledge and innovation communities by the European Institute of Technology. Companies could withhold investment, “if the EU budget fails to match it,” he said.
Moedas said that, to walk back the proposals, scientists needed to call their governments and complain. He also vowed to make his case to ministers of science and finance.
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Photo: Commissioner Moedas, by European Commission