Commission to present largest socio-economic research networks in the world

March 12, 2003

Brussels, 11 Mar 2003

On 14 March 2003 in Brussels, European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin will launch 89 new EU-funded socio-economic research projects and networks.

These have been supported by the European Commission, as part of its commitment to improving the knowledge in socio-economic issues. They address key topics such as governance, immigration, gender, conflict resolution and new development models.

Mr Busquin will attend the final plenary session (at 14.30 hrs. on March 14) of this two-day conference, to be held on 13 and 14 March 2003, at the Borschette Centre, rue Froissart, in Brussels. A substantial part of the Conference will be devoted to the presentation and discussion of these 89 projects, organised around five key areas relevant to social sciences, humanities and to EU policies:

Challenges to development models: broad perspectives, the knowledge dynamics and innovation (20 projects).

For example, the project "Changes in Industrial Competitiveness as a Factor of Integration: Identifying Challenges of the Enlarged Single European Market" will evaluate the progress of companies in the Candidate Countries in developing their ability to compete with companies in the EU and the rest of the world economy.

(Within the whole socio-economic research programme 49 projects are supported in this field, involving 200 teams all over Europe and corresponding to a total budget of €48,2 million.)

Societal and individual well being and policies – quality of life and social cohesion (22 projects).

For example, the project "Psychological Contracts Across Employment Situations" aims to examine how the changing nature of employment relations in general, and different forms of employment contract in particular, affect the job security, well-being and health of workers in Europe. Negative but also positive outcomes will give an empirical base to find out the best way of dealing with contract flexibility.

(Within the whole socio-economic research programme 51 projects are supported in this field, involving 431 teams all over Europe and corresponding to a total budget of €48,9 million.)

Governance, citizenship and the dynamics of European integration, enlargement and security (28 projects).

For example, the project "Citizenship and Democratic legitimacy in the European Union" will analyse the prospects to create a Europe for its citizens, the articulation of a European public sphere, the ways in which enlargement is explained and justified with the EU and applicant countries. Moreover, the project will increase our understanding with respect to the challenges and opportunities posed to the dynamics of European integration and the legitimacy of the EU.

(Within the whole socio-economic research programme 41 projects are supported in this field, involving 349 teams all over Europe and corresponding to a total budget of €38,3 million.)

Gender, governance and quality of life (8 projects).

For example, the project "Gender-Sensitive and Women-Friendly Public Policies: a Comparative Analysis and Assessment of their Progress and Impact" aims at identifying and assessing how the integration of a gender dimension in public policy formulation and design is taking place across the European Union. The project will also try to identify and assess to what extent and how the integration of gender serves to improve the impact of these policies on the wellbeing of women and men and the reduction of gender inequalities.

(Within the whole socio-economic research programme 13 projects are supported in this field, involving 97 teams all over Europe and corresponding to a total budget of €12,3 million.)

Infrastructures for building the European Research Area (11 projects).

For example, the project MORESS aims to support the development of the European Research Area through improving information on research in social sciences and humanities throughout Europe.

(Within the whole socio-economic research programme 17 projects are supported within this field, involving 74 teams, corresponding to a total budget of €15,4 million.)

M. Busquin will speak at the closing plenary session on 14th March 2003. The session will highlight how these research projects are supporting policy areas of socio-economic importance to Europe, and are also contributing to the development of the European Research Area in the field of social sciences and humanities.

Note to editors

Place and venue

Brussels, 13 and 14 March 2003

Borschette Centre, Rue Froissart, 1050 Bruxelles

For further information:

http://www.cordis.lu/citizens/

Virginia Vitorino

Tel: +32.2.295 34 09; Fax: +32.2.296 21 37; E-Mail: Virginia.Vitorino@cec.eu.int

or

Fadila Boughanemi

Tel: +32.2.299 26 38; Fax: +32.2.296 21 37; E-mail: Fadila.Boughanemi@cec.eu.int

Media contact:

Michel Claessens, Press and Information Officer, Research Directorate-General
Tel.: +32.2.295 99 71, Fax: +32.2.295 82 20, E-mail: michel.claessens@cec.eu.int

Commissioner Busquin's Spokesman

Fabio Fabbi, Commissioner Busquin's Spokesman, DG Press,
Tel + 32.2.296 41 74, Fax: +32.2.295 82 20, E-mail: fabio.fabbi@cec.eu.int

DG Research
http://europa.eu.int/comm/dgs/research/i ndex_en.html

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