In a conference on the European Charter for Researchers and a Code of conduct for their recruitment, Janez Poto?nik called on member states and researchers to actively implement these agreements.
Although more researchers are educated in Europe than in the USA and Japan, Europe actually employs around six researchers for every 1,000 members of the workforce whereas the figure is nine for the United States (US) and ten for Japan.
Indeed, many European university graduates consider working in a business environment better paid than in research. Furthermore, many researchers move abroad (‘brain drain’) and are reluctant to return to Europe in the absence of attractive research opportunities.
Key objectives of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their recruitment are to provide researchers with long term career prospects by improving their employment and working conditions and to create more favourable conditions for mobility of researchers. The aim is to give individual researchers the same rights and obligations wherever they may work throughout the EU.
Improving employment and career prospects for researchers is part of the EU’s strategy to fight the ‘brain drain’ to the US and to enhance the EU’s competitiveness so that it can meet the core aims of the Lisbon agenda.