On 29 May 2015, the Competitiveness Council adopted the ERA Roadmap 2015-20. It should serve the purpose of facilitating and reinforcing the efforts undertaken by the Member States in developing the European Research Area. In February 2014 the Competitiveness Council called to develop by mid-2015 an ERA Roadmap by deciding on concrete measures. The Member States have developed a document by through ERAC (and in exchange with the ERA related groups) in close cooperation with the Eruopean Commission and the European Stakeholder Organisations. The document identifies a certain number of key implementation priorities with a potentially lage impact on Europe’s science, research and innovation systems.
These ERA priorities are based on previous communications of the European Commission: “A Reinforced European Research Area Partnership for Excellence and Growth” and “Enhancing and focusing EU international cooperation in research and innovation: A strategic approach” (both published in 2012). The following ERA priorities are listed in the ERA Roadmap
- 1 effective national research systems;
- 2a jointly addressing grand challenges;
- 2b make optimal use of public investments in research infrastructures
- 3 an open labour market for researchers;
- 4 gender equality and gender mainstreaming in research;
- 5 optimal circulation and transfer of scientific knowledge;
- 6 international cooperation.
ERA Priority 6
The following excerpt of the ERA Roadmap presents the result of the discussions on ERA PRIORITY 6 – INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION:
High level objective/rationale
Effective international cooperation with third countries is necessary, both at national and EU levels, in order to address grand societal challenges, ease access to new emerging markets and increase the attractiveness of the ERA for talented minds and investors worldwide. The aim is to ensure that Europe as a whole, as well as the individual Member States and Associated Countries, is able to take maximum advantage of the best research and innovation opportunities on a global basis. Building on the diverse bilateral and multilateral relations with third countries, ERA needs a common and coherent strategic international focus in order to assert Europe’s leading position in research and innovation in a changing world.
Top Action Priority identified through Member State consultations
Develop and implement appropriate joint strategic approaches and actions for international STI cooperation on the basis of Member States’ national priorities. How does this contribute to the objective? By making the engagement of Europe and of the individual Member States/Associated Countries with third country partners more coherent, effective and sustainable.
Actions to promote this
At National level, Member States and Associated Countries should define national strategies for internationalisation to foster stronger cooperation with key third countries. These should reinforce multilateral STI cooperation approaches in order to build critical mass and maximise impact, for example in tackling grand societal challenges.
At National and European levels there should be better coordination of the objectives and activities of the EU, Member States and Associated Countries towards third countries and International Organisations (notably through the Strategic Forum for International S&T Cooperation). Member States and Associated Countries should actively participate in the further development of the Multi-Annual Roadmaps for international cooperation to ensure that their priorities are properly reflected there and can support coherent priority setting. There should be better uptake of the results of multilateral EU and intergovernmental projects and initiatives with an international dimension (e.g. BILAT Projects), and better use of bi- and multilateral agreements between EU Member States and international partner countries.
At European and macro-regional level, make better use of opportunities provided by Horizon 2020 to improve coordination with other external policy areas of the Union. The joint S&T committee meetings and policy dialogues should be better coordinated between European Commission, Member States and Associated Countries, who should also be more closely involved in their preparation. The exchange of data on joint initiatives between Member States/Associated Countries and third countries, and on third country participation in programmes of Member States and Associated Countries should be strengthened in this context.