European Commission - Knowledge must cross frontiers

March 27, 2008

Europe needs a fifth freedom - free movement of knowledge - to best answer the challenges of globalisation, Janez Potocnik, the European Science and Research Commissioner, said last week. In London to deliver the annual Zuckerman lecture, he outlined his view that Europe's future lies in knowledge-based growth, but said such growth is being hampered by fragmented budgets, uncoordinated research and duplicated efforts by member states. In addition to the free movement of capital, people, goods and services, he proposed a further freedom, for knowledge to circulate within a European research area. He said this would involve measures such as mobile researchers moving to the best facilities and centres of expertise; joint evaluation to ensure specialisation in research spending instead of duplication; and qualifications being portable across borders.

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