Dear Presidents of the EMS Member Societies,
as many of you have probably noticed, the new European Commission decided to start its term by the project called “Investment Plan for Europe”, injecting some 16 billion euro into the European economy with the idea to revive it and the hope for a huge multiplication effect. The goal is noble, of course, but the question is where the money will be taken from. Unfortunately, according to the Commission intentions, the Horizon 2020 program should contribute 2.7 billion, and even two of its chapters considered as front drivers of excellent research in Europe, the European Research Council and the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Program are supposed to be taxed by 221 and 100 million, respectively. Other chapters should contribute also with one exception - following a strange administrative logic the chapter called "Access to Risk Finance" is left untouched. Details of the plan can be found at ec.europa.eu/priorities/jobs-growth-investment/plan/documents/index_en.htm
Even if those sums are a relatively small part of the whole package, the effect would be significant. For instance, the ERC would in this way lose some 150 grants which amounts to roughly one half of a full call; note that the money is taken for the seven-year budget but the cuts will be concentrated to a much short period so they will hurt indeed. Aware of the implications, various European organizations raise their voices in protest to this decision, among others Academia Europaea, League of European Research Universities (LERU), or EuroScience, to name just a few. Recently the Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE), of which the EMS is a member, suggested to European researchers to tell their opinion to their elected representatives. The plan cannot take effect without being approved by the European Parliament whose members are there to represent interests of their constituencies. The campaign is decribed at http://www.no-cuts-on-research.eu/emailcampaign/ and we think it is worth to bring it to attention of your society members.
The European Mathematical Society