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Petition for increased EU funding sees decisive response


Heidelberg, 6 July 2005 – A petition launched by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and the European Life Sciences Forum (ELSF) calling for increased funding for research in the EU’s Framework 7 budget has met with a rapid and decisive response from the scientific community.


EMBO and ELSF instigated the petition in response to the Luxembourg presidency’s budget proposal of June 2, which suggests a cut of approximately 40% in the budget for research and innovation – in contrast to a 10% reduction in structural funds and a 5% cut in agriculture spending.


To date, over 16,000 scientists have endorsed the call to provide the resources urgently needed to achieve the objectives of the Lisbon agenda. The petition is open to scientists of all disciplines and the number of signatories is currently increasing at a rate of around 1,000 per day.


EMBO Executive Director, Frank Gannon commented,

"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 results of the petition will be communicated to EU heads of state and government and the EU ministers for finance and research.


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