Industry concern over EU science budget cuts
Move undermines the Commission’s major effort in setting up Horizon 2020.
Brussels, 3 June 2015
The European pharmaceutical industry, represented by EFPIA and EGA, and the European biotechnology industry represented by EuropaBio, note with concern the recent decision of the European Commission to cut the amount of funding earmarked for the scientific community via the EU's flagship Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020.
We recognise the desire of the Commission to secure the financial viability of the European Fund for Strategic Investments – with its worthwhile aim of increasing private and public investment across the European Union. However, this should not be achieved through a misguided reduction in resourcing the science budget and, with this, scientific projects across Europe. Such a move clearly undermines the Commission’s major effort in setting up Horizon 2020.
In our view, innovation through science is the lifeblood of the European economic strategy for growth. Consequently, moves that hinder its progress will have a negative impact on patient health outcomes, the EU economy and the overall sustainability of healthcare systems.
With this in mind, we note with interest the recent efforts in the US to increase the budget of the National Institutes for Health by $10 Billion over the next 5 years – a move to invest, rather than reduce funding.
EFPIA, EGA and EuropaBio would like to commend the positive efforts of the European Parliament in defending the Horizon 2020 budget within the framework of the trialogue meeting with the Council of Ministers and the European Commission. It is through the laudable efforts of MEPs that funding for the European Research Council and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, which promote scientific excellence and research career development, has been maintained at its intended level.