Parliament approves reports on ERA

June 14, 2002

Brussels, 13 June 2002

The European Parliament approved reports on strengthening and structuring the European research area (ERA) at its plenary session in Strasbourg on 12 July.

Parliament, which views the proposal as part of the consultation procedure, adopted a number of non-binding amendments in both cases. In approving the report 'Strengthening of the European research area' prepared by MEP Wim van Velzen, Parliament highlighted specific amendments on each of the next Framework programme's priorities. On life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health, it said that diagnostic tools should be supported primarily if they are linked to therapeutic efforts and the control of disease-related conditions.

On information society technologies, Parliament stressed the need to develop mobile, wireless, optical and broadband communication infrastructures and computing technologies that are reliable and can be adapted to accommodate new applications and services.

Regarding nanotechnologies and nanosciences, Parliament feels that research in these areas should support integration of biological and non-biological entities to help in areas such as medicine, the environment, processing and food analysis.

Aeronautics and space research should increase competitiveness and emphasise space science and study of the solar system, including the geology of the Earth, according to Parliament.

Food quality and safety research should focus on the prevention of food-related risks, the development of food technologies in line with nutritional considerations and the control of health risks associated with environmental change.

Sustainable development, global change and ecosystems research should lead to a greater understanding of marine and terrestrial ecosystems and look into the effect of climate change on fishing.

Finally, citizens and governance in a knowledge-based society should prioritise, according to MEPs, an understanding of Europe's past, its contribution to world civilisation and the diversity of European culture.

On the report concerning the strengthening of the European research area, prepared by MEP Myrsini Zorba, Parliament highlighted five specific non-binding amendments. Firstly, inter and multidisciplinarity should be promoted through concrete actions. Secondly, synergies should be established between the ERA and the proposed European higher education area. Thirdly, a mechanism needs to be established which allows DG Research to monitor and optimise research mobility. Fourthly, the programme needs to ensure that a positive attitude towards research is created among teachers and journalists. Finally, military research should be excluded from Community funding.

Parliament also voted on the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and FP6 at the plenary session. On this report, prepared by MEP Yves Piétrasanta, Parliament said it felt particular emphasis was needed on the applicant countries. This is especially the case with regard to the scientific and technical aspects needed to transfer the acquis communautaire.

For further information, please consult the following web address:

CORDIS RTD-NEWS/© European Communities, 2001

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