Signs of change in EU science

Meeting in Dublin hears of EU plans for more money, less bureaucracy in science funding

Stephen Pincock(

DUBLIN—A sense of cautious optimism about the future of science funding in the European Union has emerged from a meeting held here over the past 2 days.

With the support of the European Commission, the Irish government—as the current holder of the EU presidency—assembled the symposium of politicians, industry leaders, and high-placed members of the scientific community. The aim was to draw a consensus about the state of European basic science and whether new EU action was needed.

Representatives of 27 countries—current EU members, accession states, and allied countries—unanimously approved a set of conclusions that acknowledged a need to create a more attractive basic research environment.

The delegates agreed that a new European arrangement was required and urged the commission “to bring forward to the Competitiveness Council proposals for the governance, management, and accountability of a European initiative.”

It should be characterized by minimum bureaucracy and closely involve the...

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