Press EU ministers adopt conclusions on EU’s global role in research and innovation

News | 28-09-2021 in Agence Europe

Meeting in Brussels on Tuesday 28 September, EU Research Ministers adopted conclusions expressing their support for the EU’s “new global approach” to research and innovation (R&I), recently defined by the European Commission.

The conclusions stress the need for the EU to develop a multilateral dialogue about R&I at an international level, while ensuring that European “values” and strategic interests are respected.

With regard to the protection of EU “values”, the ministers called on the European Commission to consider the development of tools that could be made available to researchers whose freedom of scientific research is threatened in third States.

On the protection of strategic interests, they generally invited the Commission and the EU-27 to be “as open as possible, but as closed as necessary” and underlined, in this respect, their commitment to the implementation of Article 22.5 of the new Horizon Europe Regulation.

The latter introduces certain limits to the participation of third States in the European research programme in order to protect, among other things, “areas in which the EU has an interest related to its technological sovereignty”.

Associations to Horizon Europe

This Council was the occasion for the Commission to report to the Ministers on the negotiations under way with various third States regarding their association to Horizon Europe. Only Norway and Iceland have so far formalised their association to the programme.

The Commission said it is working towards the UK’s association “as soon as possible” and indicated that it has concluded negotiations with the six Western Balkan partners.

The latest discussions are also ongoing with Israel and exploratory discussions are continuing with Canada. Switzerland, a long-standing partner, is not considered a candidate at this stage due to its lack of a framework agreement with the EU.

Metrology Partnership Agreement

In parallel to the ministers’ meeting, the first inter-institutional meeting (political trilogue) on the implementation of the European Partnership on Metrology - the science of measurement - was held on Tuesday.

The Slovenian minister, whose country currently holds the Council Presidency, assured her counterparts on Tuesday morning that she hoped this would be the first and last trilogue on this issue. On Tuesday evening it was confirmed that an agreement had been reached. Maria da Graça Carvalho (EPP, Portugal), rapporteur for the European Parliament, welcomed a “very good negotiation on a very important issue, in which the European Parliament managed to have its position fully validated”. “One of the important principles that the European Parliament has guaranteed for this partnership is scientific freedom”, she told EUROPE.

The Metrology Partnership is one of ten institutionalised European partnerships to be implemented under Horizon Europe. The EU and several Member States will participate with the aim of ensuring that by 2030, metrology solutions in Europe are at least equal to those of particularly successful global players such as the United States, China and India.


Please note, your browser is out of date.
For a good browsing experience we recommend using the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.