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European Commission proposes Pact for Research and Innovation

23. Jul 2021

On 16 July 2021, the European Commission proposed a Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe, in particular to support the implementation of national European Research Area (ERA) policies. The establishment of such a act was already announced in September 2020 as part of the EC communication on "A new ERA for Research and Innovation" (KoWi reported).
The proposed pact contains the following aspects:

  • Commitment to common values and principles in the field of research and innovation, in particular scientific freedom and integrity, free circulation of researchers and scientific knowledge and technology, gender equality and equal opportunities.
  • Identification of priority areas for action, including on open science, research infrastructures, mobility and career development of researchers, knowledge valorisation, and global collaboration.
  • Agreement on intended investment levels, in particular to increase the total expenditure on research and development (R&D) to 3% of EU-GDP, to increase the total public effort on R&D to 1.25% of EU-GDP (by 2030), and to increase the share of national public R&D expenditure committed to joint programmes, research infrastructures and European Partnerships to 5% of national public R&D funding (by 2030).
  • Measures regarding the monitoring of the implementation of the pact, e.g. through an ERA scoreboard on the progress towards ERA objectives at national and Union level, and annual reports by the European Commission on the state of play of the ERA implementation, including individual reports on the progress of Member States.

The Pact will have the status of a non-binding Council recommendation and will be complemented by further measures: A Commission expert group on the ERA Forum for Transition is currently working on a revised ERA governance, the first ERA policy agenda containing a further substantiated set of joint ERA actions, and the ERA scoreboard. The current Slovenian EU Council Presidency is planning to conclude the adoption of the Pact, the new governance approach and the first ERA policy agenda by the end of this year.