European Union plans to attract “bright minds” from developing countries suffered a blow after a study found that EU scientists earn less than their Indian counterparts.
The EU study shows that annual salaries among researchers working in the EU average just under 38,000 euros ($A61,923). By comparison, scientists in India earn on average 45,200 ($A73,773), when these incomes are adjusted in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP).
EU scientists also earn 23,000 ($A37,539) less than their colleagues in the United States.
The study also found huge disparities within the 27-member bloc.
While researchers earn competitive salaries in wealthy EU countries such as Denmark, Germany and Ireland, they are paid pitiful amounts in new member states such as Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Estonia.
“If Europe is to be able to face the challenges of the future, then we need knowledge to move freely to where it can best be used, and that includes our researchers,” said European Science and Research Commissioner, Janez Potocnik.
The EU executive, the Commission, recently launched a scheme designed to attract highly skilled workers from China and India in a bid to make up for labour shortages.
The scheme includes plans for a “Blue Card” granting foreigners a residence and work permit valid across the EU. Third-country professionals would also be allowed to be joined in their new country of residence by their espouses and children.
Â© 2007 AAP