Poto?nik wants European labour market for researchers

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. 

The Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Poto?nik in the European Researchers' Charter and Recruitment Code of Conduct -conference (8-9 September): "The next step, the application of the Charter and the Code is crucial." 

As the implementation of the charter does not depend only on the Commission, Poto?nik calls on the member states, the funding bodies, the research organisations and researchers themselves to make full use of the Charter and the Code and to transpose them into national, sectoral and institutional contexts.

The Council Resolutions on establishing a European area of research and innovation (June 2000) and on the reinforcement of the mobility strategy within the ERA (November 2001) stressed the importance of developing human resources as the key to research excellence in Europe, as well as the need to introduce a European dimension into researchers' careers. 

In November 2003, the Council adopted a resolution on the profession and the career of researchers in the European Research Area (ERA). Recognising the key role that researchers play in promoting European growth and competitiveness, the resolution stresses the need to improve career prospects for scientists and researchers in Europe. 

The Commission adopted, on 11 March 2005, its Recommendation on the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their recruitment

  • A UK presidency conference on the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their Recruitment took place in London on 8-9 September 2005.
  • The current 'Researchers in Europe 2005' initiative will last until November 2005.
  • A pan-European 'Researchers’ Night' will be held on Friday, 23 September 2005.

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