Brussels, 12 May 2005
The political leaders of the European Union and the Russian Federation have taken a further step towards the creation of a 'Common space of research and education' between the two regions, with the adoption on 10 May of a road map for its implementation.
The road map was agreed during the 15th EU-Russia Summit in Moscow, hosted by the Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov. Representing the EU were President of the European Council Jean-Claude Juncker, Commission President José Manuel Barroso, and High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) Javier Solana.
According to the document, the space for research and education (which also includes culture aspects) 'should reinforce people-to-people contacts, promote common values and contribute to increase the competitiveness of the EU and Russian economies.' It also notes the good cooperation that has already been fostered between the two partners, as evidenced by the renewal of the Science and Technology cooperation agreement in 2003.
The specific objective of the research element of the common space is to enhance EU-Russian cooperation in priority fields of mutual interest, aimed at: developing a knowledge-based society in the EU and Russia, promoting competitiveness and economic growth, strengthening the links between research and innovation, and maintaining small and medium sized entrepreneurship in research and innovation.
Possible research fields of mutual interest are put forward in the road map. These include space, new materials and nanotechnologies, life sciences, information society technologies (IST) and clean and renewable energy. The document also calls for a focus on issues relating to intellectual property rights and the development of conditions to stimulate innovation and quality improvements, particularly within industry.
The instruments used to further research cooperation will include a planned Permanent Partnership Council (PPC), designed to intensify dialogue between the two regions. Other mechanisms are also mentioned, including the existing EU-Russia cooperation agreement and its action plan, the Commission's framework programmes and schemes such as EUREKA and INTAS.
Using these instruments, it is foreseen that the EU and Russia will do the following:
- determine the main short and medium term research tasks in each subsequently agreed field of cooperation;
- support the participation of Russian organisations in ongoing EU projects, if necessary using additional Russian funding;
- strengthen the submission of proposals that include Russian participation;
- encourage Russian participation in the consultation process for the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7);
- improve instruments to support the mobility of both Russian and EU researchers;
- promote the participation of EU-based researchers in Russian programmes.
Under a separate road map to create a common economic space, the EU and Russia also pledged to establish an information society dialogue, including a consultation mechanism to devise policies and strategies in technology areas of mutual interest. The main objectives of cooperation in this field are closer policy coordination and increased interoperability, according to the road map.
For further information, please consult the following web address:
http:///www.eu2005.lu/en/calen drier/2005/ 05/10eurussia/index.html