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Why is it so important for Europe?

Member States agreed in March 2000 at Lisbon on a strategy to make the European Union the "world's most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion." In the globalised world of today, this ambition can only be realised if society takes the most out of science potential for understanding and changing the world we live in, in a responsible and sustainable way.
The creation of the European Research Area must therefore receive the support of all stakeholders, including citizens and civil society organisations.

The Science in society initiative aims to stimulate a harmonious integration of scientific and technological endeavour and associated research policies in European society. It encourages Europe-wide reflection and debate on science and technology and their relation with society and culture, because the ability of European societies to develop themselves in a positive and sustainable way depends, to a large extent, on their capacity to create and exploit knowledge and to innovate.

EU Member States have earmarked a total of € 330 million for funding this theme over the duration of FP7, i.e. 2007 to 2013. The European Commission will fund annually ‘Science in society’ activities by selecting project proposals submitted following the publication of a ‘Call for proposals’.

Consultation on ERA

With the 2007 Green Paper on the European Research Area (ERA), the European Commission launched a broad institutional and public debate on what should be done to create a unified and attractive European Research Area, which would fulfil the needs and expectations of the scientific community, business and citizens.

The Commission is advised by CREST and has recourse to high level expert advice on different initiatives and topics concerning ERA.

In its Resolution of 7 December 2009, the Council has invited the Commission to continue and further develop systematic and structured consultations with Member States and other relevant stakeholders in a transparent manner.