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Conditional backing for EIT by European Parliament Committee

The Committee for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) of the European Parliament (EP) supported the Commission’s plan to establish a European Institute of Technology on 10 July 2007. But the agreement comes with strings attached.

The European Commission had submitted its legislative proposal for the establishment of an EIT on 13 November 2006. A first reaction by the European Council 14/15 December 2007 had been positive, while the EP had so far expressed mainly skepticism, for example in its Annual Policy Strategy 2007 Resolution. Before being dealt with by the EP plenary, the Commission's proposal had to go through two EP committees, the above-mentioned ITRE and the Committee for Culture and Education (CULT). The reaction is that of ITRE:

ITRE’s rapporteur, the Finnish MEP Reino Paasilinna, never tried to hide his doubts about the necessity for an EIT. His report to ITRE, which the Committee largely subscribed to, proposed a substantial number of amendments to the Commission’s proposal.  ITRE’s backing for the EIT is thus a conditional one. Amongst others changes, ITRE demanded that:

  • the EIT should only be finally established after going through a try-out phase, in which only two or three ‘knowledge and innovation communities’ (KIC; consortia-based research projects) should be operated on an experimental basis;
  • the EIT should not be allowed to award degrees (but rather the universities represented in the KICs);
  • the Commission should first present a realistic and stable funding concept, with funds not coming from other budget lines (FP7, LLL Programme, etc);
  • the institution should bear the name European Institute of Innovation and Technology, thus adding the word ‘Innovation’ to the name.

The EP plenary will deal with the EIT in September 2007.

European Parliament
Industry Committee
Draft report