European Research Area: National governments must do more, says Busquin

October 4, 2002

Brussels, 03 Oct 2002

The EU Commissioner for Research, Philippe Busquin, has said that the commitment of Member States and national governments to the creation of a European research area (ERA) has so far been 'too weak or insubstantial'.

As a result, the Commission will shortly be making proposals aimed at driving the establishment of the ERA, notably, he said, 'by giving [the project] increased resources in order to fully coordinate the activities and policies of Member States.'

In a speech to the Leibniz Association, a large German research collective, on 2 October, Mr. Busquin said that his goal was to give a new impetus to the project, a key element of the Sixth Framework Programme.

The Commissioner gave a reminder that the synergy of Member States' policies was an essential element of the ERA, because the majority of European research is carried out and financed at a national level.

Reiterating the conclusions of recent benchmarking reports, Mr. Busquin also stressed the need for increased public and private investment in research, and highlighted the key role of universities as the providers of research training and sources of technological innovation.

He hopes to initiate a debate, he said, on how to provide European universities with the same level of resources as those enjoyed by the top US colleges.

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CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

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