Review of European research area under way

After seven years of building the European Research Area (ERA), Research Commissioner Janez Poto?nik is set to launch a review of how the EU’s internal science and research market is operating.

“This year, I plan to review how the ERA is working. I want to see how many internal research walls we have knocked down since the ERA was first suggested seven years ago,” said Commissioner Janez Poto?nik on 15 January 2007 in the German Presidency FP7 launch event.

Poto?nik intends to verify how easy it is for researchers to move between organisations, have their qualifications recognised and find new opportunities in the public- and private-research structures. Poto?nik also wants to present new ideas to strengthen the ERA. 

In March 2007, the Commission is expected to publish a Communication, New horizons and further steps for the ERA, and submit it to a large public and political debate, which will eventually lead, in 2008, to a second Communication formulating concrete proposals for actions. 

The ERA aims to create a more coherent science and technology environment across the EU through improved co-ordination of member states’ national scientific and technology capacities. 

ERAWATCH, an information portal collecting data on national and regional research policies, structures, key actors, research programmes and policy initiatives was launched on 12 January 2007. It aims to help towards better understanding of different research systems and of the environment in which they operate – and, in this way, contribute to the realisation of the ERA. 

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