BRUSSELS—European research ministers are making a last-ditch effort to break a stalemate over the Community's five-year budget for research and development.

Last month the ministers rejected a Belgian plan for a budget of $6.4 billion (5.8 billion ECU)151;a compromise between the $8.5 billion demanded by the European Commission and the $4.4 billion suggested by the three largest member states (Britain, France and West Germany). At stake is the future of the EEC's collaborative research program, known as Framework, which embraces such projects as Esprit (on information technology), Race (on telecommunications) and Brite (on other industrial technologies). Some 3,000 researchers throughout Europe are paid through Esprit, largest of these cooperative efforts.

Glyn Ford, a member of the European Parliament and former scientist, said hundreds of vital research projects are threatened by the inability of the 12 member nations to reach agreement. "The [low] cash limit being demanded by the British government...

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