30 March 2015, No. 06/2015

Strategic EU investment fund EFSI must strengthen Europe’s research and innovation capability on a global scale

Statement issued by the Alliance of Science Organisations

The German science organisations united in the Alliance are following with concern the current debate on the financing conditions of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) to be adopted by the EU Council and European Parliament by the end of June 2015.

The Alliance is reiterating its call for the financing of the planned EFSI investment guarantee not to affect the budget of the Horizon 2020 EU Research and Innovation programme. The European Research and Innovation programmes make a significant contribution to economic growth and the creation of highly specialized jobs. These programmes should therefore not be subject to cuts. This would otherwise counteract the measures concerning the Europe 2020 strategy and the Innovation Union. The proposed cuts would particularly affect the budgets of the European Research Council (ERC), which promotes outstanding basic research, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), which promotes knowledge and innovation communities, the Marie Curie Actions on the training of young researchers, the joint projects in the field of social challenges, the promotion of innovation in SMEs and the Europe-wide access of scientists to research infrastructure. The Alliance is therefore calling for other options in the EU budget to be used for the allocation of the funding required for EFSI, including the reallocation of appropriations as part of the review of the EU’s multiannual financial framework.

The EFSI programme’s aim should be to generate investment in research and innovation and to turn Europe into a knowledge-based economy which is even more competitive globally. Such an objective should be systematically pursued and underpinned by the inclusion of experts from the fields of research and development on the decision-making bodies for the approval of loans from the EFSI. Additional infrastructure investment, primarily in the areas of research and innovation, is essentially welcomed by the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany.

The Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany reaffirms its view that the performance capability of the European Research Area should not be weakened by the EFSI investment initiative in the face of global competition. It therefore welcomes all current efforts aimed at preventing cuts to the Research Framework programme and calls upon political decision-makers not to reduce the amount of funding for the Research Framework programme in the next stages of the process.

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Every year, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables more than 2,000 researchers from all over the world to spend time researching in Germany. The Foundation maintains a network of well over 26,000 Humboldtians from all disciplines in more than 140 countries worldwide – including 51 Nobel Prize winners.

Contact

Teresa Havlicek
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Fax: +49 228 833-441
presse(at)avh.de

Georg Scholl
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Tel.: +49 228 833-258
Fax: +49 228 833-441
presse(at)avh.de

Dr. Christina Beck
Head of Science and Corporate Communication
at the Max Planck Society
Tel.: +49 89 2108-1275
christina.beck(at)gv.mpg.de