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Majority of Europeans support increased EU research budget, reveals survey

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Monday, 20 June 2005

Majority of Europeans support increased EU research budget, reveals survey

Around 60 per cent of European citizens believe that the EU should spend more on scientific research, according to the results of two new Eurobarometer reports on the public's perception of science and technology and the ethics that underpin them.

The surveys were conducted face-to-face in people's homes between 3 January and 15 February this year, and covered all 25 EU Member States, the candidate countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia and Turkey) and three of the EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland).

Generally, the surveys revealed a 'very positive and optimistic perception of what science and technology can actually do for humanity in terms of medical research, improvement of the quality of life, as well as the opportunities for future generations.' Indeed, 87 per cent of respondents said that science and technology have improved their quality of life, while 77 per cent believe that they will continue to do so for future generations.
Less encouraging, however, was the finding that many Europeans consider themselves poorly informed on issues concerning science and technology, and the survey identified a link between a lack of information and a low interest in scientific issues.
Finally, those currently lobbying for a significant increase in EU funding for research will be encouraged to read that 71 per cent of citizens agree that collaborative research at EU level is growing in importance, and that 64 per cent feel that our economy can only become more competitive by developing and applying the most advanced technologies.