Brussels, 14 Oct 2004
EUROCHAMBRES welcomes the Commission's intention to increase the research efforts at overall European level to attain the Lisbon and Barcelona objectives. The Lisbon strategy is the political vision the business community can support without restriction. In doing so, the objective of a sustainable economic development is seen as the prerequisite for sustainable social development and the protection of the environment. To attain a sustainable economic development and competitiveness, Europe needs innovation-friendly framework conditions (moderate taxes, flexible labour market, low red-tape etc.). Having this in mind, a European policy to support research should not only focus on programmes and funding but on creating an innovation-friendly environment for business.
European innovation policy is a horizontal policy and task and the different European policies have to be targeted on innovation. The question is not what has to be done on European level to foster innovation but also what the Commission has to refrain from doing, e.g. the REACH.
To attain the objective of the European Research Area (ERA), to overcome the fragmentation of research policies in Europe, the guiding principles of the FP have to be coherence, synergy and interdisciplinary. The division of the research fund in specific programmes for basic research, SMEs etc. would be contradictory. The overall aim of the FP has to be the research collaboration of all innovation actors (small and big enterprises, universities and research organisations).