17 July 2020 – As the heads of EMBL and EMBO, the two major organisations for the life sciences in Europe, we understand the importance of the European-level funding for research. We would like to express our concern that the latest compromise proposal on the Multiannual Financial Framework, to be discussed by the Heads of States and Governments today and tomorrow, proposes a major cut for the future Horizon Europe programme.
The past successes of the European Union Framework Programmes for Research have shown that investing in research – basic and applied, in life sciences, material sciences, or social sciences — can help to ensure that Europe stays in the leading position when it comes to driving progress. Such research contributes to making our society a better place for future generations. Furthermore, the Framework Programmes have always been effective in advancing those cross-border and pan-European initiatives where national funding is not sufficient, and where there is a clear need for support on a wider scale.
The current pandemic is only the latest example to show the importance of continued investment in science and research. Only joint efforts will enable a coordinated response to the similar challenges the future will inevitably bring.
With economic crisis looming over Europe, we most certainly understand the challenges facing national governments. We nevertheless call on European leaders to rethink the proposed compromise, and to demonstrate their commitment to science and research and its vital role in the future of Europe.