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Source: Goda Naujokatyte, “Budget cuts could see Europe lose its next generation of researchers,” ScienceBusiness, Nov. 2020.
Commentary: EU leaders this July agreed to budget cuts in research funding, slashing spending for the Horizon Europe research program by 14 percent, from 94 billion euros to 80.9 billion. These cuts are compounded by decreasing national funding for research among EU member countries in the wake of the COVID-19 recession. Research spending unfortunately is seen by many as an “add-on” rather than an essential economic driver, so it is not prioritized in times of crisis such as the pandemic, even though research is crucial to developing a COVID vaccine. In the longer term, decreasing research funding may discourage young people from entering the research field, which would cost Europe its competitive edge relative to countries that invest more heavily in research, like China and Japan.