JURI Draft Opinion on the Commission Communication on Investment in Research (link)

September 29, 2003

Brussels, 26 Sep 2003



The Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market calls on the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1. Underlines the importance of increased cooperation between Member States and accession countries on research policy and research investment; points out that there is already close and successful cooperation between individual Member States in the area of air travel and space travel technology;

2. Stresses the need for ongoing support for human resources; calls for creation of a legal framework to ensure that research staff can be employed flexibly and pragmatically and can move freely in the EU;

3. Points out that, in addition to the fact that fully-trained researchers are continuing to emigrate, demographic trends and lower numbers of students starting courses in the natural sciences will mean that a continuing supply of researchers will be increasingly difficult to find; considers that conditions should be made easier for researchers to take up residence and exercise their profession;

4. Takes the view that in future certain sections of the population must be encouraged to undertake research; this particularly concerns women since, despite considerable efforts, the proportion of women in research has not significantly increased in recent years;

5. Considers that a great deal of legislation tends to hinder rather than facilitate research within the EU; calls for an investigation to identify areas from which bureaucracy and bureaucratic obstacles that hinder innovation and research could be removed, and calls for suggestions on removing these obstacles;

6. Points out that application-oriented research provides a major stimulus for Europe's economies and that targeted cooperation between research and enterprises must be supported; stresses that above all cooperation with SMEs must be a key focus;

7. Calls on the Member States to develop workable models for legal cooperation between research institutes and enterprises;

8. Stresses that State financial instruments represent a major proportion of financial support for research, but that the most effective incentives for research are appropriate tax arrangements and a research-friendly environment;

9. Points out that many SMEs that are engaged in areas where research plays a key role experience considerable difficulties in raising capital and that in the light of Basel II the situation is hardly likely to improve;

10. Underlines that the protection of intellectual property has an important role to play in this regard, since successful economic exploitation of copyright ensures a return on capital and contributes to the ongoing development of research activity;

11. Points out in particular that copyright on intellectual property must be made available quickly and at a reasonable cost, and that the introduction of a Community patent and the planned new rules on patentability of computer-implemented inventions are important steps in this direction.


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