Researchers’ charter proves successful

The Commission’s initiative to improve the working environment of European researchers is being endorsed by an increasing number of research organisations.

EU’s member states and research organisations have no obligation to implement the researchers charter and code of conduct, a sort of  ‘bill of rights and duties’ for all researchers working in the EU.

However, a number of French, German, Italian, Lithuanian, Slovakian and Swiss research organisations have already adopted the code and charter and others have committed to do so.

Francis Vella, researcher: "Members states and research institutions have no obligation to implement the charter and code of conduct. However, if they fail to do so, they may lose on competing for researchers."

Science and Research Commissioner Janez Poto?nik: "Without researchers, there is no science in Europe. That is why it is crucial to address the status of researchers. By setting out the roles and responsibilities of researchers, we are going some way to ensuring the researchers, wherever they work, are treated with the respect and esteem they deserve." 

Chairman of Italian National Research Council Fabio Pistella: "In the world of research, the main resource is represented by researchers’ abilities, skills, ideas and commitment. CNR’s goal is to reach full valorisation of its 4,000 researchers and more than 1,000 associated researchers, removing all possible obstacles."

"If you can refer to an EU recommendation, then you have a leverage that might really get things moving," said Christine Heller del Riego from EUROSCIENCE.

The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their recruitment, adopted by the Commission on 11 March 2005, aims to provide researchers with long term career prospects by improving their employment and working conditions and by creating more favourable conditions for mobility of researchers. 

The charter gives individual researchers the same rights and obligations wherever they may work, and aims at transparency and openness in the researchers' recruitment process (see EURACTIV 8 September 2005). 

The Council approved the charter on 18 April 2005.

  • CNRS in France will signal their adoption of the code and charter on 16 December 2005.
  • INSERM, the French National Centre for Health an Medical Research, will sign the declaration of commitment on 30 January 2006. 

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