BRUSSELS—European researchers should be cautious about their hopes for a big budget boost under Horizon 2020, several observers told a meeting here yesterday. Financial constraints among E.U. member states could shrink the proposed €80 billion budget to €60 billion or even less, Christopher Hull, secretary general of the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations, told the audience at Horizon 2020 and the Future of European Research. Starting in 2014, Horizon 2020 will be the European Union’s main research funding program, awarding grants to university-based and industrial research in engineering, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Even the European Commission’s €80 billion proposal isn’t quite the 40% increase it might seem at first glance, Hull noted. Framework Programme 7 (FP7), the current funding program that started in 2006, had a total budget of about €57 billion, but its yearly outlays increased from just over €5 billion in 2006 to a slated €10 billion this year and next. That means that a flat E.U. research budget for the next 7 years would require at least €70 billion for Horizon 2020, Hull said. The European Parliament is currently debating the commission’s proposals for the program, which were unveiled in November. The Parliament is on record as supporting a €100 billion budget for Horizon 2020, but the final sum will be decided by the finance ministers of all 27 E.U. member states as part of their E.U.-wide budget deliberations. Their official position has been that Horizon 2020 should receive as much as FP7: roughly €57 billion. Given the dire fiscal situation of many European governments, “some voices say we’ll be damn lucky to get 60 billion,” Hull told the conference. “The budget is the crucial decision,” agreed Patrick Bressler, head of the Brussels office of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, a German funder of applied research. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) Final details of the program’s funding rules and priorities will be hashed out in negotiations starting early next year between the commission, the Parliament, and the European Council (comprised of representatives from member state governments). Final approval of the program is expected at the end of 2013, and it is slated to start on 1 January 2014.