EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn has said it would be disastrous if the new EU budget is not agreed by the end of the Irish presidency.

Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn said it was good to see others now calling for policies that produce jobs and growth alongside policies of austerity.

She said her message is that research and innovation is the growth engine in the EU at present.

Ms Geoghegan-Quinn said the commission had always argued for job creation and growth policies alongside banking reform.

On the issue of further help with Ireland's banking debt, she said she had no doubt that the commission's policies of looking for ways to help Ireland would continue.

Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn expressed the view that Irish researchers could do very well from Horizon 2020, the EU's latest research funding scheme under the new budget.

However, she said it would be disastrous for the research and other policy areas if agreement on the overall budget is not reached before the end of the Irish presidency.

The commissioner said it would delay and disrupt the work of scientists and others.

Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn also addressed the Seanad today, saying she believes it should not be abolished.

Responding to a question from Senator Katherine Zappone, Ms Geoghegan-Quinn said: "I believe the Seanad should remain and ... I will have great pleasure in coming home whenever the referendum is, to vote no to the abolition of the Seanad."

She received a rapturous round of applause from senators.