Negotiations between EU institutions on the EU’s research programme, Horizon Europe, are due to conclude this week, locking in a new principle that only serves industry interests.
Despite strong objections being raised to the so-called ‘innovation principle’, it is set to be fully established into EU law by the end of the week, which will determine how the EU’s €100 billion research fund will be divvied out.
Speaking from Strasbourg, Lynn Boylan MEP for Dublin called for the immediate and complete removal of all references to the ‘innovation principle’ from the EU’s research programme:
“What is being pushed as a seemingly innocent and positive concept, is in fact a tool for corporate and private interests to divert research funding away from where it’s really needed towards whatever industry deems as profitable.
“This race to the bottom on regulation, masked as ‘innovation’, would unquestionably undermine human health and environmental regulations.
“By calling it a ‘principle’, the impression is created that the concept has a legal basis of some kind, but the truth of the matter is that the ‘innovation principle’ has no legal grounds under EU law and is completely at odds with the precautionary principle.
“Today, over 60 NGOs and civil society organisations demanded that the EU act now and delete all references to this dangerous tool.
“Sinn Féin fully endorses this action, believing that EU research funding, which is made up of public money, is accountable to societal needs rather than industry interests.
“I am calling on the Irish government, represented within the Council, to put citizens’ interests ahead of corporate interests and abolish this ridiculous principle.
“The EU is in the clutches of corporate lobbies enough without this, with far too much corporate cosiness dictating EU policy. People are only going to be even more alienated from the EU the more industry tries to wedge itself the EU law making process.
“It is now up to the Irish government and other Member States to remove this principle from the research programme, or they will have a lot to answer to in the upcoming elections.”