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A new European Research Area (ERA)


On September 30, the European Commission presented a new communication on the European Space for Research and Innovation, under the title A new ERA for Research and Innovation. This document aims to outline the future of research in Europe, as well as current social, ecological and economic challenges in Europe. Recall that the definition of legislation for shared competencies in the area of research in the common European space was one of the resolutions of the Lisbon Treaty in 2007. 

This new communication aims to improve the European landscape for innovation and research, accelerate the transition to leadership in digital and climate change, combat the social and economic consequences of the new coronavirus, and improve the resilience of the European continent against future crises.

There are four objectives of the new European Research Area. The first aims to prioritize investment and reforms in research and innovation, with a view to a transition to a greener model. The goal is to reach, in 2030, 5% of GDP allocated to the joint operation of member states in scientific partnerships and development programs, using funds from Horizon Europe, the funding program for Research and Innovation for 2021-2027, and reinforced by the Next Generation EU plan. In 2017, the European Union invested an average of 2% of member states' GDP in research and innovation. The second point aims to guarantee researchers in Europe access to infrastructures of excellence. It also foresees that the countries within the European area that are below average in investment in science will see their allocated funds for the sector increased by 50%. Still on this point, it is foreseen that the countries that have a scientific publication below the average will manage to reduce by one third in the next five years the gap that separates them from the European average. A third point foresees that the results of research and innovation in the common European space can be transferred to the economy, through the creation of common technological plans and the creation of a networking platform at the European level. Finally, the fourth objective foresees reinforcing the mobility of researchers across borders and promoting free access to knowledge and scientific production.

About the European Research Area:

Launched in 2000 with the aim of better organizing and integrating innovation systems and strengthening cooperation between member states in the field of science, it has been instrumental in promoting the free movement of researchers, technology and knowledge throughout the common area, as well as the sharing of resources between countries.

In 2018, the Council of the European Union deemed it necessary to reformulate this space. Thus, a new Communication from the Commission will appear in 2020.

The regulation and management of funding for Research and Innovation in the European Research Area is done using the Horizon Europe framework, and reinforced by the Next Generation EU.