The EU and Russia are taking concrete steps to enhance an already significant science and technology (S&T) partnership. During last year’s Joint Committee meeting of the EC-Russia Cooperation Agreement, both parties agreed to create a bilateral working group to determine priority areas of mutual scientific cooperation.
That vision has already taken off: 16 February was the first official meeting of the EC-Russia Working Group on Environmental Research. It is hoped that the Working Group’s expert consultation will provide a more structured partnership under the Joint EU-Russia S&T Committee and be better equipped to implement decisions from high-level meetings between the two partners. This Working Group is also expected to work towards an EU–Russia common space of research and education.
More specifically, the EC–Russia Working Group on Environmental Research will further promote cooperation within FP7 and the corresponding Russian programmes; assess best practices, results and outcomes of projects; and facilitate the implementation of projects of joint interest.
DG Research will participate in the Working Group, as will the Russian Federal Agency for Science and Innovation. New activities and projects under FP7 will provide additional support. For example, the E-URAL project (EU and RussiA Link for S&T cooperation in the area of the environment) will organise a series of thematic workshops bringing together scientists from both the EU and Russia with a view to establishing cooperation in future areas of mutual interest.