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Europeans support science spending

Ahead of a decision on EU research budget, polls show public backing for more funding

Stephen Pincock(Stephen@thescientisteurope.com)

A majority of EU citizens think that the European Union (EU) should spend more money on scientific research, according to two polls released by the European Commission today (June 13), just days before the leaders of EU nations are due to decide on science funding levels for coming years.

Two "Eurobarometer" reports commissioned by the European Commission's Directorate General for Research show that 71% of EU citizens agree that collaborative research at the EU level is growing in importance, and 59% consider that the EU should spend more money on scientific research.

The surveys were conducted in January and February, but the timing of their release this week is impeccable. On June 16, the heads of EU national governments are due to agree on the size of the research budget for 2007–2013. The European Commission had proposed a doubling of the current spending level on research under the 7th Framework...

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