21 May 2015 | General
COST governing board alarmed about perspective of diminishing budget in context of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)

The Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) of the COST Association has expressed a strong concern about potential future budget cuts in context of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

At the 194th CSO meeting which took place on 12 and 13 May in Stockholm, the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) of the COST Association published a statement in which it emphasises strong concerns about uncertain budgets. Adequate and stable budgets are needed for the operation of the COST Framework programme, allowing today over 45 000 researchers, engineers and scholars to connect and collaborate in often multi and interdisciplinary science and technology networks, and thereby stimulate scientific excellence and innovation in Europe.

COST operates on the basis of a Framework Partnership Agreement established with the European Commission in 2014, under Horizon 2020. This Framework Partnership Agreement foresees a budget of 300 million EUR for a period of seven years. Under the EU Commission’s proposal, however, the Horizon 2020 research and innovation budget will contribute importantly to the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) distributed unevenly through its various programmes.

It is very likely that EFSI will negatively affect our budget situation and thereby a programme which has helped scientists to unfold their potential and led to many breakthrough concepts, products and ideas.The budget for 2017 indicates a reduction of 7% that is most likely to increase in the following years. This is an important share given the small size of our programme. It is a pity to cut a Framework programme that has such a strong leverage effect at national level. It is actually fully in the spirit of EFSI and should therefore not be cut.", commented Dr Ángeles Rodríguez-Peña, President of the COST Association.

If the EFSI related budget cuts were confirmed, it would have important consequences on the number and budget of the COST Actions, and thereby on realising COST’s mission and policies, such as the Inclusiveness policy particularly beneficial for researchers from less research intensive countries. The COST Association statement signed today by all 36 representatives of the COST Member Countries reflects their engagement for a unique programme within the European Research Area (ERA), contributing significantly to the delivery of the Europe 2020 Agenda and the Innovation goals of the European Commission.

In addition to the statement, the COST Association is inviting all COST participants and stakeholders to support a stable COST budget by signing and sharing the online petition available here

Read the COST Association Statement.

Sign the COST online petition for budget stability.

Share our petition on Twitter and Facebook by using this hashtag: #supportCOST

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