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"Fifth freedom" of knowledge

The European Council, bringing together the heads of state or government of the European Union, convened on 13-14 March in Brussels and concluded that “member states must remove barriers to the free movement of knowledge by creating a fifth freedom”. In European Union law, four freedoms is a common term describing a set of treaty provisions, secondary legislation as well as court decisions, granting free movement of 1) goods, 2) services, 3) labour and 4) capital within the European Union market. More specifically, the creation of a ‘fifth freedom’ would be based on
    • enhancing the cross-border mobility of researchers, as well as students, scientists and university teaching staff;
    • making the labour market for European researchers more open and competitive by providing better career structures, transparency and family-friendliness, and
    • launching a new generation of world-class research facilities as well as promoting the mutual recognition of qualifications.
On a more general note, the presidency conclusions concentrate heavily on the advancement of the Lisbon objectives and the future of the strategy after 2010. They call for investing in both knowledge and innovation as well as in people and modernising labour markets. (see also: Education, Culture and Youth Council in ACA Newsletter –Education Europe February 2008). Presidency Conclusions of the Brussels European Council