Dear Scientist, Science Enthusiast and Citizen,
I hope you and your loved ones are fine in these troubled times. 
I am sending you an unusual message about the ongoing fierce battle around the EU’s future research budget.
At the European Council summit in July, the EU’s national leaders agreed on a compromise about the EU long-term budget that entails a massive cut to the planned budget for the next framework programme Horizon Europe, and potentially for the ERC. 
A potentially disastrous threat for the future of Europe’s research, at a time when research is needed more than ever and when political leaders claim that the success of their policies will depend on research and innovation. There is a considerable gap with the ambitions expressed.
The research community and the ERC are currently working very hard to achieve an important revision of this compromise. On Monday I was given the opportunity to speak at the European Parliament in the ITRE Committee that takes care of research. Here is my speech. (See also social media, e.g. this tweet  and this). 
I hope I can count on you for taking all possible initiatives to get the content of our plea and this speech well disseminated locally, nationally and in your European networks, in the worlds of politics, media and social media, and beyond.  
I know many of you have already signed the petition initiated by the University of Bergen to protect the ERC budget and signed by over 16,000 people keen to support research (BBC article; press conference).
We are now at the critical stage where politicians have to hear your view on the situation. The moment to act is now – time is running out. 
Thanking you in advance for your consideration and your help in the present struggle that is so critical for the future of Europe, I remain
Yours truly,
Jean-Pierre Bourguignon
ERC President ad interim