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European partnership on metrology: Council presidency reaches political agreement with the European Parliament

Met dank overgenomen van Sloveens voorzitterschap Europese Unie 2e helft 2021, gepubliceerd op vrijdag 8 oktober 2021.

Today, EU ambassadors gave their support to the political agreement reached with the European Parliament on 28 September on the European partnership on metrology.

The partnership is one of the priority areas in the package of proposals for institutionalised European partnerships under Horizon Europe. This endorsement brings the finalisation of the partnerships package a step closer.

We are very pleased with the endorsement for the provisional agreement on the metrology file. The European partnership on metrology aims to promote academic freedom and scientific integrity, which are key topics for the Slovenian presidency. It ensures that we can develop public policies to address societal, economic and environmental challenges.

Simona Kustec Minister for Education, Science, and Sport

Simona Kustec Minister for Education, Science, and Sport

The main elements contained in the provisionally agreed text include that EURAMET (the European association of national metrology institutes) will ensure the implementation of the metrology partnership by managing the EU’s financial contribution. This contribution will be up to €300 million. Participating states’ contributions will cover administrative costs, which are capped at 5% of the partnership’s total budget.

In general, the partnership on metrology aims to:

  • develop new research capabilities within the framework of new European metrology networks by 2030
  • support sales of new innovative products and services through the use and adoption of new metrology capabilities in emerging technologies by 2030
  • contribute to the design and implementation of specific standards and regulations by 2030
  • contribute to achieving the EU’s goals for the digital and green transitions

To ensure the programme’s transparency and openness, the decision proposes that calls for proposals by the metrology partnership should be published on the Horizon Europe portal in a timely and user-friendly manner, and that they should be widely promoted and advertised to increase participation of newcomers.

Background

Metrology is the scientific study of measurement and a key enabler of economic and social activity.

It ensures that when measurements are taken, they are traceable to internationally agreed definitions and standards. Metrology ensures compliance with European financial regulations: it enables each financial transaction to be accurately timestamped to ensure traceable evidence. It is also of key importance with regard to the safety of consumer products.

The proposal for a European partnership on metrology is part of the package of three proposals on institutionalised European partnerships under Horizon Europe, the framework programme for research and innovation for the period 2021 to 2027. It is the only partnership based on Article 185 TFEU (public-public) in the partnerships package.

The proposal for a decision on the European partnership on metrology was submitted by the European Commission on 23 February 2021. The Council’s mandate for interinstitutional negotiations was agreed on by Coreper on 23 June 2021.

Next steps

The EP’s ITRE Committee will vote on the file on 14 October, and the plenary vote on first reading is scheduled for mid-November. After that, the file goes back to the Council for confirmation, followed by signing and publication.

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