Brussels, 15 Jul 2003
Writing for the CORDIS Italian Presidency service. EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin has outlined his priorities for the next six months, which include increasing research investment, increasing the attractiveness of research as a career, space and bioethics.
'Our research priorities for the Italian Presidency focus on meeting one fundamental, overarching objective. Together we must continue to drive forward efforts to make a reality of our vision of a genuine European Research Area (ERA),' writes Mr Busquin.
The Commissioner claims that Europe's scientists must be given support and incentives, and that failure to do so will obstruct the creation of the ERA. It would also hinder another Commission priority - the increase of research investment to three per cent of GDP, as it is estimated that an additional 500,000 researchers are needed to meet the target.
The Commission will, in the near future, present a communication on the career of researchers, says Mr Busquin. The communication will cover a range of topics, including the employment market for researchers in Europe; coordination of national recruitment, assessment and career development systems; and pan-EU recognition of qualifications and professional experience.
During the Italian Presidency, the Commissioner also expects ministers to reach agreement on the location of the international thermonuclear experimental reactor (ITER) and on cooperation between the EU and the European Space Agency (ESA).
'Our objective is to define and implement a coherent set of rules for collaboration between the European Commission and [ESA]. This should give the EU a political role in the field of space and reinforce the political importance of space in Europe. The agreement will also help mobilise Member States and the private sector to coordinate investment initiatives in research and development of European space capabilities and associated services,' writes the Commissioner.
Mr Busquin concludes by saying that his priorities 'require hard work and commitment at all levels,' but that he is confident that progress can be made. To read Mr Busquin's priorities in full, please visit: http://www.cordis.lu/italy/priorities_bu squin.htm