The European Commission has called on
governments to jointly develop a strategy for international cooperation in
science and technology. It has proposed a strategic framework for jointly
strengthening science and technology cooperation with non-EU countries, notably
in the field of Information and Communication Technologies where Europe is a
Commission's objective is to contribute to sustainable development worldwide
while at the same time improving Europe´s competitiveness in science and
technology. The Commission invites Member States to define together, rather
than in isolation, priority research and technology areas where a coherent EU
effort would have more impact.
According to European Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez
Potočnik, "Global challenges call for global responses. There is no area
today where this is truer than in science. Our international partners are
attracted by Europe as a model of regional integration, but they are faced with
a multitude of governmental actors, research priorities when they want to engage
in concrete cooperation. The aim of our strategic framework is to engage with
our Member States to transform Europe's research labyrinth into a European
Research Area open to the world, attracting the best brains and contributing to
address global challenges".
"At a time where telecommunications, the internet, mobile telephony and
television increasingly impact on our life and on the EU economy, it is urgent
to improve the effectiveness of the EU's international action in information and
communication technologies", said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for
Information Society and Media. "If Europe wants to maintain its position as a
global leader in Science and Research, we need to find the most efficient ways
to collaborate within the EU and to transform our willingness to cooperate with
our partners worldwide in acts while targeting our priorities".
Member States and the European Commission are involved in a myriad of
research cooperation activities with third countries. However, the absence of a
common strategy at European level has led to duplication of efforts and often a
waste of resources. At the same time, global challenges such as climate change,
food and water supply or the digital divide, highlight the need for a better
cooperation in science and research between Member States and the Commission to
promote EU policy goals as well as global sustainable development.
The strategy adopted by the Commission today sets out a framework for a
European approach to international cooperation in science and technology. It
outlines core principles which should underpin European cooperation with the
rest of the world and proposes specific orientations for action to:
- strengthen the international dimension of the European Research Area (ERA)
by integrating Europe's neighbours into the ERA and fostering strategic
cooperation with key third countries through geographic and thematic
- improve the framework conditions for international cooperation in science
and technology and for the promotion of European technologies worldwide. This
includes the joint development of global large-scale research infrastructures
(such as GEANT), support to mobility of researchers or management of
The Commission also recommends strengthening
the global position of the EU's ICT industry and other advanced technologies
that would, thanks to EU regulatory principles, improve the investment
environment and anticipate the convergence between electronic communications and
media. It also plans to monitor non-tariff barriers and regulatory hurdles faced
by EU industry on third markets.
The Communication is one of five policy initiatives planned by the Commission
to follow up the 2007 Green Paper "The European Research Area: New Perspectives"
and is a further step in the creation of the "fifth freedom" by removing
barriers to the free movement of knowledge.
(Europa Rapid Press Release)