Representatives of countries soon to join the European Union delivered some frank assessments of EU science at a conference in Slovenia on Thursday (April 15).

“Slovenian science is achieving [at the standard of] the EU average based on some criteria, but the EU average is not very good,” said Boštjan Žekš, president of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

“There is something really wrong with European universities on the continent,” he added, referring to the absence of any European presence, other than the UK, in rankings of the world's top 20 universities.

The event was held at the Slovenian Parliament to discuss “Science and Society in an Enlarged European Union.”

Slovenia is one of the countries that will expand the European Union from 15 members to 25 on May 1. Most of the new members are from the former communist bloc. The conference was a chance to appraise...

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