Brussels, 12 Feb 2003
CREST welcomes the Commission Communication as a good starting-point on the basis of which the EU can approach spending of 3% of GDP on R&D and innovation by 2010 (of which two-thirds should come from the private sector). The 3% aim has an important role to play in contributing to the attainment of the Lisbon objectives.
CREST agrees with the Communication that the approach to the 3% is an ambition for the EU as a whole, and that the Member States are free to choose their targets and optimal policy mix. At the same time, CREST welcomes the focus on R&D financed by the private sector, underlining its crucial role in boosting European competitiveness.
CREST fully agrees with the Communication that Europe needs to make a substantial step forward in R&D and innovation performances to close the gap with its main competitors, especially considering the current economic situation. It therefore supports the approach presented by the Communication, particularly its emphasis on the crucial role of framework conditions, such as competition, human resources and IPR, and a more effective use of public financial support to tackle the growing gap. The concrete policy actions necessary will have to be substantial and sustained. CREST therefore calls for a strong political commitment in Member States and candidate countries for the realisation of the 3% aim.