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Eirini Papageorgiou's picture

Dear Chapter members,

as you know, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) discussion is going to reach its final steps soon. There is a meeting of the EU Council on February 20, where they will try to reach an agreement. News from many Member States hint that the contribution will shrink to 1% of their GNI (Gross National Income), way below the 1.07% proposed by Finnish presidency in December, and even further away from the 1,11% proposed by the Parliament.  

This decision will have a major impact on the budget for Horizon Europe, and may well bring it down to 75Bn EUR, approximately 20% less than expected after the Finnish presidency proposal. Therefore, to avoid that such scenario comes true, it is very important for researchers to act swiftly and strongly.

The Initiative for Science in Europe has launched a campaign to advocate for a higher budget by putting pressure on national governments. We have prepared letters in English and for 12 Member States in their national language with the aim to get all learned societies, scientific organisations, and individual researchers and other actors from education, research and innovation who support this request from across Europe to sign the petition.

For a successful campaign, we need your support! Without your active participation, we will not be able to reach the critical mass we need. So, this is what we kindly ask you to:

  1. Everybody supporting this request to invest more in education, research and innovation, should sign up to the ‘petition in English’ AND in  addition can choose to sign it in one or several of the 12 Member States we have translated the letter for already (Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden – ISE has prepared the one for Slovenia, but decided not to publish it until the new Government is established). Would you be available to help us preparing the letters for one of the other Member States, please contact the Executive Coordinator of ISE, Marco Masia (marco.masia@initiative-se.eu). This template in English will help you preparing it. We will then upload additional countries on the petition page for all to sign in addition.
  2. The only way to go viral is to share this message with all your contacts across Europe and ask them to make a strong campaign in support of the petition. The petition can be signed both by individuals and by entities from across Europe! It's highly important to reach out to each of them, possibly through many channels. We would like to emphasize that inaction will have bad consequences on the research budget available for the next framework program! I also invite you to send me feedback about your engagement in the campaign.
  3. Use your social media (and ask your members to use theirs) to get your followers engaged in the campaign; hopefully, they would share the message to their networks and acquire more signatories. On twitter, we are going to use the hashtag #HEBudget - please use it on all your social media channels! On twitter, you may also want to tag @ISE_news

This is the webpage of the campaign: https://initiative-se.eu/he-petition/  
A press release about the initiative can be found at: https://initiative-se.eu/he-petition-press-release

Our current goal is to reach tens of thousands of researchers and have them support the petition. Once done, we would use the high number of subscriptions to put pressure on the governments and get a better outcome for Horizon Europe. Ideally, the signature collection will run for a couple of weeks to show a united researchers' front!