Specific initiatives to support European Research Area

Taking into account the results from last year's public consultation on the ERA Green Paper and building on ongoing work, an overall governance process is being set up and five new ERA initiatives are being launched in 2008.

The new initiatives address researchers' careers and mobility, research infrastructures, knowledge sharing, joint programming and international science and technology cooperation. They aim at establishing durable partnerships with Member States and stakeholders - including business, universities and research organisations - to develop the ERA jointly in their specific areas of focus.

Overall governance of ERA: the "Ljubljana Process" and 2020 ERA Vision

The Council of the European Union and the Commission have decided to enhance the overall governance of ERA. This enhanced governance is called the "Ljubljana Process" as its main principles were discussed and agreed at the informal ministerial meeting held in Ljubljana and Brdo (Slovenia) on 14-15 April 2008. It was formally launched by Council Conclusion adopted on 30 May 2008. The enhanced governance of ERA is based on a shared 2020 ERA vision which the Commission and Member States agreed at the Competitiveness Council of 2 December 2008. More information


This initiative intends to create a European Partnership for Researchers for mobility and career development. The European Commission adopted a communication to launch the initiative on 23 May 2008. More information

Research Infrastructures

This initiative will consider providing a legal framework to assist Member States to develop and fund pan-European research infrastructures which their national legal instruments might not be able to facilitate. The Commission intends to issue proposals before the Autumn of 2008. More information

Knowledge Sharing

On 9 April 2008 the Commission adopted a Recommendation on the management of Intellectual Property Rights in knowledge transfer activities and a Code of Practice for universities and other public research organisations. More information

Joint Programming

Currently, the vast bulk of research in Europe is implemented independently by national or regional programmes. This situation leads both to unwanted duplications and to opportunities lost, to achieve critical mass of research efforts. Therefore, on 15th July 2008 the Commission adopted a Communication on Joint Programming between EU Member States of their public research programmes. More information

International Science & Technology Cooperation

This initiative will bring forward a proposal on a policy framework for both the Community and Member States to foster and facilitate coherent international science and technology cooperation activities. The Commission intends to issue proposals before the autumn 2008.
More information