European Commission targets barriers to Single Market for research and
The European Commission has today set out concrete steps Member States should
take to achieve the European Research Area (ERA), a Single Market for research
and innovation in Europe.The goal is to enable researchers, research
institutions and businesses to better move, compete and co-operate across
This will strengthen Member States' research bases, increase their
competitiveness and allow them to work together more effectively to tackle major
societal challenges, such as climate change, food and energy security and public
To help achieve the European Research Area, the Commission has also today
signed a Joint Statement and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with
organisations representing key research organisations and research funding
The proposals are a response to the deadline set by EU leaders to make the
European Research Area a reality by 2014.
European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire
"We cannot continue with a situation where research funding is not always
allocated competitively, where positions are not always filled on merit, where
researchers can rarely take their grants or have access to research programmes
across borders, and where large parts of Europe are not even in the game.
Talk to any business leader and they will tell you that the quality of the
research base is a major factor in their investment decisions.
In today's economy, no Member State or region can afford to neglect its
When asked, almost 80% of the research community indicated that lack of open
and transparent recruitment hinders international mobility.
Member States are therefore asked to remove barriers to cross-border research
careers in Europe, step up the pursuit of joint research agendas, enhance
competitive funding for institutions and projects and invest efficiently in
Research stakeholder organisations are urged to define and implement
principles for accessibility and portability of national grants, to publish job
vacancies on a common internet portal, to fill research positions according to
transparent, open and merit-based recruitment procedures and to step up links
between industry and academia.
To complement today's European Research Area proposals, the Commission is
also presenting an initiative to promote access to, and preservation of,
scientific information. This aims at promoting open access to research
publications from EU-funded projects, as well as from nationally funded research
(see IP/12/790 and MEMO/12/565).
EU leaders have repeatedly stressed the importance of completing the European
Research Area, setting a deadline of 2014 in European Council conclusions of
February 2011 and March 2012.
The role of the European Research Area in Europe's drive for competitiveness
is also highlighted in the Compact for Growth and Jobs agreed at the European
Council of June 28/29.
The Commission proposals to achieve the European Research Area focus on five
key priorities where progress needs to be made:
- increased effectiveness of national research systems
- improved trans-national cooperation and competition including establishing
and effectively operating key research infrastructures
- a more open labour market for researchers
- gender equality and mainstreaming in organisations carrying out and
selecting research projects and
- optimal circulation and transfer of scientific information, including via
digital means and broader and more rapid access to scientific publications and
For each priority, the Communication identifies concrete steps to be taken by
Member States, stakeholder organisations and the European Commission, working
together within a reinforced partnership.
The European Research Area is an integral part of the ambition to turn the
European Union into a true Innovation Union.
Increasing research investment, scientific quality and relevance are crucial
to develop new knowledge-intensive products and services that hold the key to
growth and jobs.