EP Briefing 2003-11-17: Investment in Research - 3% of GDP by 2010

November 12, 2003

Strasbourg, 11 Nov 2003

Rolf LINKOHR (PES, D) also for the Industry Committee will be tabling a draft own-initiative resolution relating to the Commission communication on the action plan for investing in research in Europe. The committee generally endorses the recommendations that the Commission has put forward in its communication and underlines that science and technology have been an intrinsic element of Europe's identity.

MEPs in the committee call on the Member States to increase their expenditure on research to 3% of GDP by 2010. Yet, MEPs are critical of the Council for not following up its words with deeds and of the Member States for making little or no effort to increase their R&D expenditure, some of them, indeed, reducing theirs.

MEPs in the committee want the Member States and private investors to increase their R&D expenditure, the required increase being 6% for public investment and 9% for private investment, to reach the average of 8% needed to achieve the target figure of 3% of GDP overall by 2010. To this end, the committee calls for an increase also in the European research framework programme, and therefore calls for an increase in the seventh research framework programme budget to €30 billion for the whole period of the programme, to include allowing for enlargement to 25 and more Member States.

The committee supports the creation of regional networks of SMEs and calls on the Member States and the Commission to support such initiatives as a priority.

Lastly, MEPs in the committee call for the establishment of a European Research Council with the purpose of strengthening the world-wide position of basic research carried out in Europe at the highest scientific level by offering long-term funding for that purpose. The body should: primarily be a funding rather than an advisory body; follow a bottom-up approach in stimulating proposals for funding; cover all fields of science, including the natural sciences and engineering, the humanities and the social sciences, using a flexible approach; base its decisions on scientific criteria and have a rigorous and transparent peer review process; be accountable to its funders, but autonomous in its operations and run by highly respected scientists and focus on financing bottom-up academic research.

Report on Investing in research: an action plan for Europe
( COM(2003) 226 2003/2148(INI))
Doc.: A5-0389/2003 [may not be available yet]

Procedure: Own-initiative report
Debate: 17.11.200

European Parliament Briefing 2003-11-17

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