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Competitiveness Council (Research), 28 September 2021

Met dank overgenomen van Raad van de Europese Unie (Raad), gepubliceerd op dinsdag 28 september 2021, 17:00.

Main results

EU research ministers met in Brussels to discuss the EU’s global approach to research and innovation and the new European Research Area.

Global approach to research and innovation

The Council approved conclusions on a global approach to research and innovation. The global approach identifies key actions to strengthen the EU’s strategy to international cooperation in research and innovation (R&I), with a strong focus on openness and shared fundamental values and principles.

Today’s conclusions send a strong message that the EU should promote openness and rules-based multilateralism in its R&I cooperation with third countries. Cooperation is key to enhancing the European Research Area, and we are happy delegations welcomed this global approach to research and innovation.

Simona Kustec, Slovenian Minister for Education, Science and Sport

Infographic - European Research Area

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The new European Research Area

EU ministers exchanged views on the governance and implementation of the European Research Area (ERA).

Research and innovation has an important role to play in creating a resilient and powerful European Union. Research and innovation will enable a sustainable transition towards a green and competitive economy to ensure that our future society is more resilient.

Simona Kustec, Slovenian Minister for Education, Science and Sport

During the public session, ministers agreed on the need to strengthen political recognition of the role of R&I, with a view to improving the resilience of Europe and delivering on the digital and green transitions.

Ministers expressed their support for the ongoing reform of the ERA, combining the strengths of public institutions, governments and stakeholders while respecting their different roles, responsibilities and processes. This reform should take place at both national and EU level.

Ministers agreed to ensure close involvement of international partners in the new ERA. However, many argued that there should be closer cooperation with partner countries with a stronger degree of association and similar principles and values for R&I.

Many also referred to the need to put in place a modern, efficient and simplified governance structure to maximise the impact of ERA actions. Equally important will be to provide for a robust monitoring system to assess progress in achieving ERA objectives.

Any other business

Institutionalised European partnerships

The Slovenian presidency updated ministers on the state of play regarding Institutionalised European partnerships. As a part of the Horizon Europe 2020 package, these partnerships are key to the EU’s technological leadership.

One file of the partnerships is the European Partnership on Metrology jointly undertaken by several member states. On this key file, the presidency informed ministers about the political negotiations with the European Parliament that would take place on 28 September in the afternoon. The presidency said that it was optimistic about reaching a final agreement during those negotiations.

GenderAction conference and Ljubljana declaration

The presidency briefed ministers on the virtual GenderAction conference that was held on 8 and 9 July in Slovenia. During the conference, the Slovenian presidency presented the Ljubljana declaration on gender equality in research and innovation.

The Slovenian presidency invited delegations to endorse the declaration, as gender equality is an important priority. The Ljubljana Declaration underlines the importance of upholding the value of gender equality, and being proactive in mainstreaming gender equality across research and innovation, to ensure a just twin transition, triggering new inclusive ways of life for all and new opportunities for jobs and research.

Association of third countries to Horizon Europe

The European Commission updated ministers on the state of play regarding the association of third countries with EU programmes, in particular Horizon Europe. The Commission shared its plans until the end of the year and informed delegates about the progress made so far.

Meeting information

  • Meeting n°3813
  • Brussels
  • 28 September 2021
  • 09:30

Preparatory documents

Outcome documents

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