The European Union spends significant amounts of public money on research. This is currently done under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7); but there is also funding for research coming from other EU budgets.

The main areas of research funded under FP7 are:

  • Health
  • Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Techniques
  • Energy
  • Environmental (including climate change)
  • Transport (including Aeronautics)
  • Socio-economic sciences and Humanities
  • Security
  • Space
  • Nuclear science

Each of these in different ways raise social questions – certainly insofar as they try to address societal challenges. Despite this, the legal basis of the 7th Framework Programme only addresses ethical concerns from the perspective of bio-ethics.

“Concerns about Ethics in European Research Policy” in English (PDF – 47 KB)

“La Recherche Publique doit bénéficier à la Société, pas aux grandes entreprises” en français (PDF – 70 KB)

“Staatlich geförderte Forschung muss der Gesellschaft und nicht der Großindustrie dienen” auf Deutsch (PDF – 35 KB)