Designing the European Research Area
The aim of the European Research Area (ERA) is to provide an infrastructure that ensures that researchers, research institutions and businesses can circulate freely, compete and cooperate across borders. The European Commission first broached the idea in the year 2000, and now envisages that implementation of the concept should be complete by 2014. As part of its consultations with interested parties, the Commission has called on researchers and scientific organizations to contribute their own suggestions for the structure of the ERA.
In its latest discussion paper, LERU responds to this invitation. The association rec-ommends that the ERA should be provided with a formal legal, structural and strategic framework in which its “basic goals, principles, limitations, instruments, ac-tions and actors” are clearly defined. LERU also points to the need to optimize the compatibility and coordination of the various EU measures and instruments. The paper emphasizes that Europe needs to offer the best possible environment for research activities in order to make it more attractive for outstandingly talented individuals. The achievement of this goal requires a commitment to the promotion of excellence, the provision of well-structured career perspectives and the reduction of administrative barriers for researchers from abroad and those who wish to engage in cross-border projects within Europe itself.
The position paper, and all other LERU publications, are available for download at www.leru.org.