Brussels, 29 Jun 2004
A new Commission leaflet describes two key initiatives designed to unlock the mobility potential of EU research: the European Researchers' Mobility Portal and the European Network of Mobility Centres (ERA-MORE), the official launch of which will take place at the end of the month in Paris.
The European Commission has just released a publication that sheds light on two powerful new tools designed to make researchers more mobile in Europe. Entitled 'Keys to mobility', the leaflet sketches a brief outline of the situation as it stands in Europe. It then goes on to describe the Mobility Portal and ERA-MORE, explaining how they will help improve the situation. Highlighting the crucial role European research talent plays in making Europe a "scientific powerhouse", the leaflet observes that "you cannot have exceptional science without gifted scientists".
"But as Europe grows into a knowledge-based economy, it will become more dependent on quality research and, hence, researchers," the publication goes on to explain. "It will need not only to produce more science and technology personnel, but it will also have to allocate its existing pool of scientific skills as effectively as possible and draw top international talent to the continent's shores. And this requires a high degree of researcher mobility." This appears particularly essential if the EU is to fulfil its ambitious goal of boosting its R&D investment to some 3% of gross domestic product, creating at least 700 000 new research jobs on the way.
Although Europe's economic and political boundaries have largely fallen away, providing researchers with a wealth of potential opportunities to pursue across the continent "the path to knowledge… is often obscured by a lack of information", the leaflet notes. The Researchers' Mobility Portal, as a "gateway to new opportunities", tackles this problem head-on. With over 32 European countries on-board, the portal is a one-stop-shop for researchers seeking to advance their careers and personal development by moving to other countries.
Helping MORE researchers to settle in
Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin is scheduled to launch ERA-MORE at an international conference, entitled 'Brain drain, brain gain: new challenges', on Wednesday this week in Paris (FR). Lack of adequate support is cited as one reason why researchers do not take up opportunities in Europe. New arrivals sometimes complain that they are left to their own devices to find their bearings, which hurts the image of the EU as a research destination. The centres provide one-to-one assistance to national and foreign researchers before, during and after their periods abroad.
By tapping into the resources of dozens of existing organisations in 33 countries, the 200-plus centres making up the network want to take the pain out of moving. They will help researchers with issues related to visas, work permits, salaries and taxation, pension rights, health care, social security, accommodation, recognition of qualifications, day care and schooling, language courses, social and cultural issues, and intellectual property rights.
The Paris conference will also draw some 350 leading personalities from European research, industry and politics to reflect on what it means to be a researcher in Europe today. Luminaries including French and Italian research ministers François D'Aubert and Letizia Moratti will take part in the various activities.
The media highpoint of the two-day event will take place in the studios of Franco-German broadcaster Arte. The cultural channel will dedicate a special evening of programmes to research careers on Tuesday 29 June at 19.30, which will include a documentary film. On the same evening, Commissioner Busquin and other distinguished delegates will take part in a debate attended by some 450 young international researchers.