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Open Letter from EIROforum DGs about the future of European research

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Open Letter from the EIROforum DGs to the European Council

20 November 2012



We, the Directors-General and senior representatives of Europe’s eight world-leading intergovernmental research organisations, urge the institutions and Member States of the European Union to ensure that the budget for science remains strong. At a time when a return to growth is the most pressing policy priority across Europe, it is absolutely vital that investment in our scientific resources (both human and technical) is sustained.

Research and innovation – the creation and exploitation of new scientific knowledge – must be at the heart of Europe’s strategy to build a strong and sustainable economy that benefits all citizens. Such knowledge is created in universities, in industry and in the research infrastructures that we have the privilege of leading – CERN, EFDA-JET, EMBL, ESA, ESO, ESRF, European XFEL and ILL.

At the General Assembly of EIROforum – the partnership among our organisations – in Grenoble on 15-16 November 2012, we discussed the future of funding for science in Europe and the impact it will have on European innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Council of EIROforum felt compelled by the conclusions reached in our discussion to pass the following resolution:




•    Noting the pressure on the EU budget in the current financial climate,
•    Noting also the focus of the European Commission and the Member States on supporting measures to promote economic growth across the EU,
•    Recognising the clear evidence of the positive effects on long-term growth that arise from public investment in scientific education, training, research and development,
•    Further recognising the importance of science in underpinning the creation of the technically skilled workforce that is essential for the future sustainability of Europe’s economic health and social wellbeing,

We call on you – the Heads of State or Government of the EU Member States and the Presidents of the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission – to reconfirm your collective support for science so that it can continue to make a significant contribution to Europe’s economic recovery and beyond.



<media 60318 _top>Original letter</media> signed by:


Professor Rolf Heuer, Director General, European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Professor Francesco Romanelli, Leader of the European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA-JET)
Professor Iain Mattaj , Director General, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
Professor Alvaro Giménez Caňete, Director of Science & Robotic Exploration, for the European Space Agency (ESA)
Professor Tim de Zeeuw, Director General, European Southern Observatory (ESO)
Professor Francesco Sette, Director General European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF)
Professor Massimo Altarelli, Director General, European XFEL (EU.XFEL)
Professor Andrew Harrison, Director General, Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL)