EU research ministers call for a global approach to research & innovation! 

On the morning of Tuesday 28 September, the EU ministers responsible for research gathered for a Competitiveness Council (COMPET) meeting regarding the European Research Area (ERA). The Competitiveness Council is committed to enhancing competitiveness and increasing growth in the EU, through policy areas such as industry, research and innovation. The meeting was chaired by the Slovenian Minister of Education, Science and Sport, Simona Kustec, which supports the focus on international cooperation in research by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU.  

Central to the meeting was a debate on a new approach to the governance and implementation of the European Research Area. In light of this, the ministers adopted resolutions on a global approach. Specifically, the new set of resolutions calls for EU cooperation on research and innovation with third countries. As such, the ministers are calling upon the European Commission to sign agreements on the association of third countries in the context of the Horizon Europe programme. 

The ministers expressed that the establishment of a modern, effective and simplified governance structure and the reinforcement of cross-departmental cooperation will be key to the digital and green transition, and as such the overall success of the ERA. Along with this, they stress that it should be ensured that actors from the private sector as well as relevant stakeholders from the economic sector, higher education and civil society are systematically involved. 

Another key highlight of the meeting was Minister Kustec’s presentation on the Ljubljana Declaration on Gender Equality in Research, which aims to improve the position of female researchers in Europe.  

With regards to the European Partnerships under Horizon Europe, Minister Kustec announced that all of them will already be launched during the Slovenian presidency of the Council of the EU, which ends on 31 December. 

After the meeting, the ministers organised a lunch in which they discussed the contribution of research and innovation to the new European Bauhaus initiative and its synergies with Horizon Europe missions. 

The Avicenna Alliance highly welcomes the increasing tendency of multisectoral global cooperation in research on the EU level. It has become increasingly clear that most of the major challenges that are addressed within research are not limited by borders. The Alliance sees it as key that in the future, health research will be conducted more and more on an international scale for the benefit of public health.   

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