Brussels, 18 June 2002
In a recorded message shown at the 'Towards an integrated infrastructure for measurements' conference in Warsaw on 18 June, Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin stressed the importance of a common European measurements and testing infrastructure which includes the candidate countries.
'Measurement, testing and the definition of common standards are necessary ingredients in the establishment of a knowledge base economy and society that the European Union is striving to build,' said Mr Busquin.
More specifically, a common metrology infrastructure is needed to ensure the proper functioning of the European single market, while helping to ensure the free movement of quality products, explained Mr Busquin. It will also help to enforce the competitiveness of European enterprises in the global market place, guarantee the quality of our environment and food, control natural and technological risks and protect consumers by fighting against fraud and counterfeiting, the Commissioner added.
Mr Busquin outlined a number of areas in which the EU is already an actor or intends to become one: chemical analyses in the field of healthcare, rapid identification of genetic sequences to check for the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and nanotechnologies.
Mr Busquin emphasised how the European research area (ERA) will help to create this common infrastructure by strengthening and coordinating research activities undertaken at national level in all EU Member States.
'The candidate countries can and must play a key role in the building of a measurements and testing infrastructure within the European research area,' said Mr Busquin. 'This will be important for them as well as for an enlarged Europe,' he added.
This point was echoed by Poland's Minister for Science, Michal Kleiber. He said that participation by the candidate countries in the Fifth Framework programme (FP5) was very interesting. He emphasised that it had promoted research and development in the candidate countries and had also had considerable political significance, showing the ability of the candidate countries to work with the Member States on an equal footing.