Support for EU-Commission’s position

No science-remote phase-out plan for animal research in Europe – the EU-LIFE research alliance, which includes the Max Delbrück Center, welcomes the EU Commission's response to the European citizens' initiative "Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics".

Joint press release by EU-LIFE and LERU

The  alliance of top research centers in the life sciences (EU-LIFE) and the League of European Research Universities (LERU) are pleased that the European Commission has taken a sensible and science-driven approach in its response to the European Citizens Initiative “Save Cruelty-free Cosmetics – Commit to a Europe without Animal Testing” on July 25th 2023.

We are pleased that the European Commission:

1.     Recognizes that science has not yet progressed sufficiently to offer adequate non-animal solutions for all scientific purposes. As a result, we are delighted that the European Commission recognizes that setting reduction goals seems unrealistic and that the provisions regarding an eventual phase out of animal research set down in Directive 2010/63/EC are still valid.

2.    Recognizes progress in scientific uses is unpredictable and that there are a diversity of research needs which each need their own approach.

3.    Emphasizes that further development of non-animal methods is required. We applaud the Commission’s commitment to sustained and continued funding in this area.

4.    Recognizes the continued value of experts in helping to identify future priority areas of research.

We cautiously welcome the European Commission’s initiative to develop an ERA policy action to reduce animal uses in research and regulatory testing and to actively develop alternative approaches. We stress the need for scientific experts to be involved in the formulation of this initiative, so that it is fit for purpose and addresses the correct questions. LERU and EU-LIFE look forward to reading more about the aims and the objectives of this action, and will provide critical comments on it when further details are available.

We also call for increased efforts in communication and engagement of researchers, policymakers and the society at large about animal use in research and alternative methods, to make sure a constructive and meaningful dialogue is possible.

“We welcome the European Commission’s sensible approach to the reduction of animal testing in research within the reply to the citizens’ concerns. We will continue to work with the European Commission, European Parliament, Member States and all stakeholders towards a coordinated approach for the reduction of animal experimentation in research and the creation of alternative methods when possible, through our participation in the ERA Forum and any other relevant platforms,“ said Marta Agostinho, EU-LIFE Executive Director.

Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary General of LERU stated that “LERU strongly believes that non-animal methods will play a significant and increasingly important role in scientific research in the future. However, we are pleased that the European Commission has recognized their current limitations, and the need for further and coordinated action to develop these technologies.”


Further information