The European Commission, the European Union's executive body, has formally adopted a proposed science program that would lift EU research spending in 2007–2013 to a total of €67.8 billion (USD $87 billion), double the current level. But observers of the EU research scene expect the commission's proposals will be reduced, perhaps significantly, before gaining final approval.

Frédéric Sgard, vice president of Euroscience, told The Scientist that the European Parliament probably will end up approving all, or most of, the €67.8 billion. But he said the proposed program will hit strong opposition in the council of EU member states from several nations that are net contributors to the EU budget.

Negotiations on the financial plan for 2007–2013 will continue throughout 2005, and final adoption of detailed legislation is expected by the end of the year.

Sgard said that Germany, which is facing a federal deficit crisis of its own, will...

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