In an open letter to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, various Young Academies from around Europe have expressed deep concern about proposed cuts to the EU research budget, Horizon 2020. The proposal strikes particularly hard against young researchers. In an intiative led by the Young Academy of Sweden, the young academies of Belgium, Denmark, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland and Scotland have all signed the letter.
The funds divested from Horizon 2020 are intended to finance the new investment fund European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). While the academies agree that new initiatives are necessary to address the current financial crisis, cutting back on science to fund such initiatives will only harm the Union’s economy further, with particularly severe consequences in the long-term. As such, the proposal is directly counterproductive. Indeed, science provides the increased knowledge about ourselves and our world that generates novel inventions and solutions to societal challenges. New discoveries, insights and innovations are fundamental building blocks for prosperity.