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EU countries not keen on research co-operation

The final report of the public consultation on the future of the European Research Area reveals that the Member States are in fact not as willing to participate in the coordination of their Research and Development programmes as the European Commission is. The study, published on 24 April, shows that the Member States believe that too much coordination from above would threaten “positive competition and diversity.” Furthermore, they believe that a compulsory EU legislation is too much and that voluntary guidelines suffice. Overall, the States believe that development of research institutions is a matter for the national and local levels, and they wish to keep international co-operation voluntary and respect the regional varieties. Of all the Member States only Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany and Norway declare interest in coordinated research development on the European level, but only “in principle” and they would wish that to happen “under conditions of balanced reciprocity”.

Regardless of the findings of the study, the Commission intends to go on with its Research development initiatives. Later this year it plans to launch four more:

    • Promotion of the mobility and careers of European researchers;  
    • establishing the legal framework for pan-European research infrastructures; 
    • improving joint programming  of publicly funded research and programmes, and; 
    • coordinating international science and technology cooperation. 

Last month, a Recommendation on Intellectual property was already adopted by the Commission. (See ACA Newsletter – Education Europe April 2008).

The final report
ERA homepage