The European Union (EU) budget package for 2007-2013 wrapped up this weekend and inspired fears of only a minimal increase for research, sparking strong criticism from scientists.

A European Council source told The Scientist that the research budget would rise by as little as 8% a year, amounting to a total of 50 billion euros in real terms for the next seven years.

Janez Potocnik, the European commissioner for research, who had been pushing for a doubling in research spending in a bid to reverse years of low spending on science, said in a statement that the reduced budget deal called for "a prioritization of resources on those areas with the greatest added value."

Doubling would have designated 68 billion euros for research between 2007-2013, compared to the 34 billion euros spent on research in the 2000-2006 EU budget package.

Frank Gannon, director of the European Molecular Biology Organization,...

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