Membership of the European Union has already improved the status of science among the 10 countries that joined the bloc last May, researchers and officials have told The Scientist.

"We have witnessed a change of quality in Estonian science, and probably in other Baltic states as well," Izold Pustylnik, vice chairman of the Estonian section of Euroscience, told The Scientist. He cited the more active involvement of scientists from the new member countries in EU science structures as one of a variety of improvements that are visible within just one year.

EU membership seems to be raising awareness of the opportunities for collaboration. For example, Edvard Kobal, director of the Slovenian Science Foundation, told The Scientist that researchers from the older member states are now definitely more interested in including Slovenian groups in joint research projects.

In some aspects of funding, however, little immediate impact has...

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