The summit of the EU heads of states on 22-23 November will be a decisive step in determining the EU research budget for the next seven years. Several member states are demanding severe cuts on the total EU budget and research will have to compete with other policy priorities.
This is a time when we, the scientific community, should act together and make our case to protect research funding, including that of the European Research Council (ERC), from cuts.
Decisions will be prepared in discussions among politicians at the national level. All of us must now look for opportunities to affect these decisions and send a strong signal to the heads of states.
An open letter signed by European Nobel laureates will be published in top European newspapers in the week of 23-30 October. The impact of this letter will be much increased if it is followed by a mobilization of the national scientific communities. In the same week, an online petition will be launched to keep the momentum going.
We would like to ask for your help. Depending on your options and possibilities, we suggest you -- speak at events we may be attending to make the case for the ERC and the budget for Horizon2020
-- use contacts in political parties or in the media we or our colleagues may have
-- inform and mobilise our colleagues
-- if you are a member of a society, please ask the president of the society to pass this on to all members.
Most importantly, we ask you and your colleagues to sign the online petition that will be launched shortly. You will be alerted when the petition is open for signature. Note that the largest petition for a scientific cause in Europe in the past was signed by less than 30 000 scientists – compared to the hundreds of thousands of signatures on petitions from other groups of society. We must do better than that.
Please feel free to contact Wolfgang Eppenschwandtner, Executive Coordinator of ISE <
> if you have any questions.
We would be interested to hear about any actions you take, and in particular, any reactions youhear from politicians and policy makers.
With best regards,
On behalf of the Initiative for Science in Europe
Maria Leptin, President
The Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE) is a platform of major European learned societies and scientific organisations. In the mid-2000s ISE has played an instrumental role in advocating the creation of the ERC and it has been working for a stronger involvement of scientists in policy since. http://www.i-se.org