Researchers' careers at the centre of the European Research Area (Extract from: Preparation of the Competitiveness Council of 10 Nov.)

November 10, 2003

Brussels, 7th November 2003

The Council will hold an exchange of views and possibly adopt a Resolution on mobility of researchers in the EU. This follows on from the July 2003 Commission Communication on "Researchers in the European Research Area: one profession, multiple careers", which identifies factors that impact on the development of careers in R&D, namely training, recruitment methods, employment conditions, evaluation mechanisms and career advancement. It also feeds into the drive to increase the number of researchers in the European Union to meet the objective of increasing European research spending to 3% of EU GDP by 2010. According to recent estimates this would require 700,000 new researchers.

The Council Resolution welcomes the Commission's initiatives in this field, in particular the launch of a "European Researcher's Charter", of a code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers, and of a European Year of Researchers. It calls for further analyses and data gathering on career development issues and research training, and for further improvement in the work of the Researchers' Mobility Portal and the European network of mobility centres.

The Resolution also calls for setting criteria to record different professional achievements throughout the career of researchers, and for identifying and exchanging good practice on the evaluation and appraisal systems for careers in R&D. It encourages the social dialogue, as well as dialogue among researchers, stakeholders and society at large, including improving public awareness of science and promoting the interest of young people in research and in a career in science. It addresses the conditions of doctoral candidates, and asks for the promotion of equal opportunities for male and female researchers. It also fosters efforts to remove other obstacles to researchers' mobility.

The Commission is currently preparing a directive on visas for researchers, thus increasing their mobility from one member state to another and benefiting research and development across the EU.

DN: MEMO/03/222 Date: 07/11/2003

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