This study was conducted in order to map European research in chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs). It was intended to assist the European Commission and other research funders to identify gaps and overlaps in their portfolios, and to suggest ways in which they could improve the effectiveness of their support and increase the impact of the research on patient care and on the reduction of the incidence of the CRDs. Articles and reviews were identified in the Web of Science on research in six non-communicable respiratory diseases that were published in 2002-13 from 31 European countries. They represented only 0.8% of biomedical research output but these diseases accounted for 4.7% of the European disease burden, as measured by Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs), so the sub-field is seriously under-researched. Europe is prominent in the sub-field and published 56% of the world total, with the UK the most productive and publishing more than France and Italy, the next two countries, combined. Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) were the diseases with the most publications and the highest citation rates. They also received the most funding, with around two acknowledgments per paper (in 2009-13), whereas cystic fibrosis and emphysema averaged only one. Just over 37% of papers had no specific funding and depended on institutional support from universities and hospitals.