Towards a European research area

27 May 2000

Main recommendations

  • European Research Programmes should concentrate on areas that clearly benefit from European-level collaboration. Such programmes should ensure international competitiveness in most major areas of research and innovation, and leadership in some.
  • European Research Programmes must, like national programmes, have effective review mechanisms for proposals by high calibre scientists and adequate monitoring and evaluation of the output.
  • Increased information exchange about national exchange programmes should complement the European Research Programmes and concentrate funding on maintaining and supporting a healthy European science base from which innovative research will develop.
  • Many centres of excellence already exist in the European research community. The European Commission should place emphasis on facilitating collaboration, infrastructure and information exchange between such centres, in particular through the development and effective use of high-speed Internet links. A key step in the evolution of a European Research Area should be the early creation of a number of Europe-wide, world class research institutes without walls, based on high-bandwidth second-generation Internet links, and funded to a level that enables them to strive for world leadership in their domain.
  • One of the most effective ways of developing a healthy research base is through mobility of high calibre researchers. The Commission, and national research programmes, should remove barriers to participation by non-nationals, both within and outside the European Union, and should investigate ways in which longer-term
    funding for young researchers can be provided.