Cabbage over knowledge

Nieuws | de redactie
20 augustus 2014 | EU budget negotiations for 2015 have resulted in European government leaders planning to cut payments for R&D by 11%. The German Rector’s Conference (HRK) have raised the alarm. “Europe needs investment in heads of innovation, not in heads of cabbage.”

The HRK is concerned by the fact that research and innovation will lack short of €1.1 billion in 2015, while in contrast, agricultural subsidies have remained almost unaffected, with a mere 0.1% cut. As a consequence of this step universities and small and medium-sized companies will have to wait months before getting any money they need to further their research.

Five times as much for farming

HRK President Professor Dr. Horst Hippler has called upon the European Parliament claiming the priorities are wrongly set for the coming budget. “The proposal that agricultural subsidies be given preference over funding for research, even though almost five times as much EU money is spent on farming as on research and innovation, is not the way to the future. Europe needs investment in heads of innovation, not in heads of cabbage.”

Hippler says the member states’ plans for 2015 are “unacceptable – not just for research but for the whole of Europe. Given these figures, the member states have clearly only been paying lip service to the role of innovation in the future of Europe.”

A trend in recent years

The budget cut for research and innovation seems to become a trend in recent years, sees Hippler. Given at €9.3 billion for 2015, the budget will be substantially lower than in 2013 – by 13.5%. “The Council’s proposal for the 2015 budget is not in keeping with the spirit of Europe aiming to become the most competitive region in the world,” Hippler adds. 

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