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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