The looking glass world of the European Comission never, sadly, fails to amaze us. A mail recently reached us from former polish Prime Minister and MEP Jerzy Buzek, concerning proposals to cut Europes R&D budget by 40%.
The cause of this is the current proposal to trim every budget by a uniform 30Bn euros. In the case of agricultural subsidies it means 5-6% and in the case of structural funds 9%, however, the budget of scientific research would be reduced by about 40%. From the documents we have seen, a number of people are ‘hopping mad’ about this, and this is in clear contradiction to all the talk about making Europe more competitive.
We have to ask whether Europes leaders really believe that for the sake of a few more farm subsidies and a couple of new roads it is worth cutting European research funding to the bone. While the EU may have many failings (any UK newspaper web site will be able to give you a detailed list), research has, until now, been one of the few areas where the European Commission has helped Europe become world class.