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Europe is a diverse patchwork of countries at different stages of scientific development — from the research-intensive Nordic region, through the science powerhouses of Germany, the United Kingdom and France, to former communist states trying to strengthen their research bases and countries that extend into Asia. All that diversity feeds a common goal. The European Union, a bloc of 28 member states and more than 500 million people, has put science and innovation at the heart of its societal and economic development. It funds large, pan-European research programmes that extend wider than the EU itself and support collaborative research and mobility across the bloc.