HomePetitionSign the PetitionWho has signed?BackgroundAbout usPress & MediaLogin

   How you can help

Signatures since
23 Oct. 2012



 Signatures Total *)
Czech Republic1667 
FYR of Macedonia90 
New Zealand109 
Slovak Republic588 
South Africa49 
South Korea34 
United Kingdom14914 

*) Only countries exceeding
   20 signatures are shown

  Search all countries


In the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013, 154'000 citizens signed the 'no-cuts-on-research.eu' petition to send a strong message to the leaders of the EU in the negotiations on the EU budget 2014-2020: Investment in research in Europe is crucial for achieving economic prosperity and solutions for global challenges. This call was echoed by an open letter of 44 European Nobel Laureates and 6 Fields Medallists published in the major European newspapers, and a joint letter sent by the European Research Council and European industry leaders.


We are pleased that the unprecedented campaign has been successful in securing "the funding for Horizon 2020 [..to] represent a real growth compared to 2013 level.",  according to a sentence that was included in the agreement of the heads of states or governement in February 2013. The budget for Horizon 2020 for a period of 7 years is €70.2bn in constant 2011 prices (€79bn in current prices).

What's next?

We continue our work with the "no-cuts-on-research.eu"-mailinglist, a channel to inform Europe's researchers about the most important updates about upcoming campaigns and activities for European research -- just a few times per year.


Wolfgang Eppenschwandtner, Maria Leptin, José Manuel Barroso

ISE logo


18/03/2014: We need to defend research investment not only at European level, but also importantly at the national level. In Austria a new petition was launched to influence the national budget negotiations:


Sign and invite your colleagues to join.

17/05/2013: We just sent out a newsletter to all who have signed and explictly agreed to be kept updated. Read it here or sign up if you have not received it.

08/02/2013: The heads of states or government achieved an agreement and -- a sentence was added to save research from the worst cuts!  "[T]he funding for Horizon 2020 and ERASMUS for all programmes will represent a real growth compared to 2013 level." The way how this will be realised and the exact sum for Horizon 2020 will be determined in lower level meetings in the coming days.


The fact that a specific sentence was added is also a clear indication that the efforts taken by the Initiative for Science in Europe, the Young Academy of Europe and other groups in the last weeks had impact on the decisions.


Stronger cuts were avoided. In the same time, the result does not really live up with the ambitions set by the heads of states or government themselves. The agreement means continuation of the same, not transformation towards future-oriented spending.


We will leave the petition open until the final sum is known. After that, the webpage will continue to be available to inform about the EU research budget and the successful mobilisation of the scientific communities in the last months. 



04/02/2013: Today a delegation of scientists met with François Hollande, President of France and Jean-Yves Mérindol, advisor to the President, to remind them of the importance solid research funding has for the future and prosperity of France and Europe.

In the course of the meeting which took place at a reception in honour of Serge Haroche, France's newest Nobel laureate, Mérindol received the list of signatures and the joint letter from ERC and major European industry leaders. For more information, please see the press text in English and French.



01/02/2013: The major European industry leaders support the EU research budget in a joint letter with the European Research Council (ERC). The joint letter, published in the Financial Times, followed by a press release of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) which is a forum for chief executives or chairmen of around 50 major European companies with a combined turnover of about 1 Billion Euro, thereby sustaining around 6.6 million jobs in Europe.



30/01/2013: Today, the list of signatures was received by Katarina Areskoug Mascarenhas, State Secretary to Prime Minister Reinfeldt, in Stockholm, Sweden.  During a positive and constructive discussion with delegates from the YAE, also representing the ISE, and representatives from the Young Academy of Sweden (SUA), Secretary Mascarenhas emphasised the central importance of Research and Innovation to Sweden, ahead of the next budget summit.




28/01/2013: Paul Nurse, Nobel laureate and as president of the Royal Society the most eminent science advisor in the UK analyses in an article in the Guardian how Cameron's strategy on the EU-UK relates to research and reminds of the high importance of European research funding has for the UK. The British academy has also issued a statement directed to Prime minister Cameron.


Paul Nurse

25/01/2013: As the next budget summit approaches, more people, institutions and companies join the movement in support of the research budget. Geoffrey Shuman, vice president of European affairs at Airbus said “It would be catastrophic for Europe to cut the research budget. It’s our future," he said. “Research is Europe’s lifeblood.". Read more in Euractiv.


17/01/2013: Budget talks will be resumed at the next European Council on 7/8 February. Rumors that circulate in the media (1)(2) suggest that even more cuts on research will be proposed as France strongly defends the agricultural budget whileas UK and other countries insist on overall cuts on the EU budget.



10/12/2012: Media attention is focused on the Nobel prize ceremonies in Oslo and Stockholm today. Read in the Irish Times the views of Serge Haroche, one of two new European science Nobel laureates in context of the negotiations on the EU budget.


23/11/2012: In today's summit of the heads of states or government, no agreement could be reached. However, disproportionate cuts for research in the new proposal which was discussed at the summit are disturbing: almost 6% cuts on the total EU budget compared to the Commission's proposal, but 12% cuts on the research, innovation and education budget. Please see our analysis or the original document for details.


The decision is delayed until the beginning of 2013. There is still time to reverse the trend - we'll continue with the campaign!



15/11/2012: A delegation of Nobel laureates and representatives of the Initiative for Science in Europe and the Young Academy of Europe met with Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council, Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission to deliver the open letter and report about the success of the petition. Photos are now available.

Important: Our campaign will go on after these meetings. The budget negotiations are likely to take longer. We continue to collect signatures to send a strong signal to the heads of state or government.

Wolfgang Eppenschwandtner, Maria Leptin, José Manuel Barroso


13/11/2012: There are 22 countries with over 1'000 signatures now and five countries which have reached the mark of 10'000: Netherlands, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain and Germany (which approaches the 20'000)


11/11/2012: We are happy to annouce the video campaign "invest in science". The Champalimaud Foundation in Lisbon has joined us and created a portal for short videos about why investment in science is important. Have a look and share the videos!


07/11/2012: In the last days, several stakeholders have contacted us to express their support for the aims of the petition. That includes researcher organisation such as the Marie Curie Fellows Association, funding bodies such as the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, or networks such as the European Association of National Research Facilities, university association such as LERU and the European University Association.


The aims of the petition receive support much beyond academia:
In a statement, BusinessEurope warns that cuts in Horizon 2020 could "put growth and competitiveness at risk".


Some of the newest developments: For the first time, the Cypriot EU presidency has put numbers on the table. 
the suggested cut of 50b Euro on the total EU budget would result in cut on the budget heading which includes research of 5b Euro compared to the Commission proposal or 25b Euro compared to the Parliament's position. That is proportionally higher than agriculture and cohesion. Read more EARTO
German's science minister promises the German government will make the case for the research budget so that Horizon 2020 "meets the ambitions to make Europe a driver for more sustainable, inclusive and smart growth".

01/11/2012: For the first time, the Cypriot EU presidency has put numbers on the negotiation table. The suggested cuts for the heading 1a (which includes research) are proportionally higher than for agriculture and cohesion. Read more e.g. in the news section of EARTO

On the positive side, in a response to our campaing published on Tuesday in the FAZ, German's science minister has promised that the German government will make the case for the research budget so that Horizon 2020 "meets the ambitions to make Europe a driver for more sustainable, inclusive and smart growth".


photo ERC

31/10/2012: We have reached 100'000 signatures!


29/10/2012: Three more laureates have signed the open letter: Dan Shechtman (Chemistry, 2011), Kurt Wüthrich (Chemistry, 2002) and Simon Donaldson (Fields Medal 1986).


24/10/2012: Our initiative has also a page on Facebook. Invite your friends, post in other groups and click on "like". However, be sure to sign on the petition website since your support is not counted for the overall number if expressed on facebook alone. 


24/10/2012: The European Research Council (ERC) published today a statement of its Scientific Council. President Helga Nowotny: "It is [..] vital that the future EU Research Programme 'Horizon 2020' - and in particular the European Research Council - will be strengthened to achieve further scientific and technological breakthroughs, leading to greater innovation in the future. We urge political leaders to listen to the unanimous voice of Europe’s researchers, both the most eminent ones and the next generation, and what they have to say to address the current economic crisis"

photo ERC

23/10/2012: In a plenary session in Strasbourg, the European Parliament has voted for a resolution calling for a growth strategy of 100 Billion Euro for Horizon 2020, the EU research funding programme for 2014-2020. The MEPs warned member states not to make cuts in growth-stimulating policy areas.

The resolution was adopted with 517 votes in favour, 105 against and 63 abstentions.


photo EP

23/10/2012: Petition launched: ERC Starting Grant holder and Nobel Laureate Konstantin Novoselov is first to sign: "Europe needs to adapt a forward-looking approach that promotes risky though thoughtful and challenging research. The ERC provides the most adequate support for research in Europe and the scope of its activities should be broadened."

photo Novoselov