Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

Budget negotiations: cut industry subsidies, not public interest research!

  • Dansk
  • Nederlands
  • English
  • Suomi
  • Français
  • Deutsch
  • Ελληνικά
  • Italiano
  • Bokmål
  • Polski
  • Portuguese
  • Română
  • Slovenščina
  • Español
  • Svenska

To: Members of the European Parliament, Member States of the European Union

 

Dear Member of the European Parliament, dear Madam, dear Sir,

You are now involved in the final negotiations around the EU's budget for 2014-2020. The position reached by the European Council's February 8th meeting concludes that a significant cut in research funding is being considered. According to European Commission estimates, this would translate into a €10 billion cut in Horizon 2020, out of an original €80 billion budget1.

Civil society organisations have been denouncing Horizon 2020's excessive corporate bias since the very first Green paper published by the Commission in 20112, but big business' lobbying prevailed. As it stands, the project is divided into three pillars, with the entire second pillar - more than €20 billion – allocated to a program called “Industrial leadership”, for activities with a “business-driven agenda”3.

Past experience with similar business-driven EU Research programs shows that despite promises that the priority for these funds will be SMEs, for new research projects, they have mainly been captured by large multinational corporations, to finance research activities that were already planned4. This means that these much-needed research funds have been transformed into industry subsidies, with little added value in terms of research results and questionable legitimacy when these same companies slash their workforce while still paying out dividends and bonuses. One example is the Joint Technology Initiative “Clean Sky”, a public-private partnership between the European Commission and industry, in which €400 million of taxpayers' money is directly transferred to the largest companies participating (such as EADS, Thales, Dassault, Finmeccanica, Rolls-Royce...)5.

Dedicating even more money to a failed policy is not an acceptable use of scarce public funds. We request that the “Industrial Leadership” program is the sole recipient of budget cuts, and that more money is made available for crucial research needs in areas such as food safety, preventative health policy, fundamental public research, ecology-focussed agriculture or renewable energies. Public research funding should go to public interest projects.



Signatories

ARC 2020
ASEED Europe
BUKO Pharma-Kampagne
Corporate Europe Observatory
Committe for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN)
Earth Open Source
European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC)
European Public Services Union (EPSU)
European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER)
Fondation Sciences Citoyennes
Fondazione Italiana per la Ricerca in Agricoltura Biologica e Biodinamica (FIRAB)
GMWatch
Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) EU Group
Living Knowledge Network
Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V. (NABU)
Pesticides Action Europe (PAN)
Testbiotech
Wissenschaftsladen Wien - Science Shop Vienna

 

Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) today criticised the plenary vote of MEPs to approve the Jean-Claude Juncker Commission.
Attac Austria and Corporate Europe Observatory are today launching new 'wanted posters' about prospective members of the new European Commission, to expose details of their corporate backgrounds or other aspects of their careers which make them unsuitable to act as commissioner and promote the interests of 500 million European citizens.
The European Parliament has overwhelmingly voted in favour of freezing the budgets of the Commission's problematic advisory groups, formally known as Expert Groups. Surprisingly, this is the second time in four years that the Parliament has taken such a drastic step, after the Commission failed to tackle corporate domination within these influential groups (see graph below).
As part of her inquiry into the Commission's implementation of UN tobacco lobby rules, European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly has asked Commission President Barroso for “a supplementary opinion” with proper answers to questions raised in her inquiry. O'Reilly took this step after having received a seriously unconvincing letter from Barroso that fails to address the specific questions and arguments put forward by CEO in the complaint that sparked the Ombudsman's inquiry.
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) today criticised the plenary vote of MEPs to approve the Jean-Claude Juncker Commission.
Attac Austria and Corporate Europe Observatory are today launching new 'wanted posters' about prospective members of the new European Commission, to expose details of their corporate backgrounds or other aspects of their careers which make them unsuitable to act as commissioner and promote the interests of 500 million European citizens.
The European Parliament has overwhelmingly voted in favour of freezing the budgets of the Commission's problematic advisory groups, formally known as Expert Groups. Surprisingly, this is the second time in four years that the Parliament has taken such a drastic step, after the Commission failed to tackle corporate domination within these influential groups (see graph below).
As part of her inquiry into the Commission's implementation of UN tobacco lobby rules, European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly has asked Commission President Barroso for “a supplementary opinion” with proper answers to questions raised in her inquiry. O'Reilly took this step after having received a seriously unconvincing letter from Barroso that fails to address the specific questions and arguments put forward by CEO in the complaint that sparked the Ombudsman's inquiry.

Corporate Europe Forum