This site has been archived on (yyyy/mm/dd)
Sitemap Printable version
Text smaller Text bigger
rss feed


All Member States and the Commission agreed on a shared vision of how the European Research Area should develop by 2020. This vision was adopted by the Council of Ministers in December 2008. Since then, work is going on to make the vision a reality.

By adopting the 2020 Vision for ERA, Member States and the Commission agreed to develop ERA in ways that contribute to the sustainable development and competitiveness of Europe.

According to the opening statement of the vision, by 2020, all players should benefit from:

  • The "fifth freedom" across the ERA: free circulation of researchers, knowledge and technology;
  • Attractive conditions for carrying out research and investing in R&D intensive sectors in Europe; and
  • Healthy Europe-wide scientific competition, together with the appropriate level of cooperation and coordination.

In future, ERA should, for example:

  • Offer an attractive, Europe-wide single labour market for researchers as well as single markets for knowledge and for innovative goods and services;
  • Build on mutual trust and continuous dialogue between society and the scientific and technological community;
  • Benefit from a strong publicly-supported research and technology base and world-class research infrastructures and capacities across Europe;
  • Provide for the joint design of research, education and innovation policies and programmes at all levels;
  • Address major challenges by strategic partnerships involving the Community, Member States and Associated States, based on common foresight; and
  • Enable Europe to speak with one voice in international fora and with its main international partners.

Work is going on to translate the Vision 2020 into a series of strategic objectives, with indicators and possibly targets will be attached in order to monitor and evaluate progress.

Many initiatives are already underway to make the vision a reality. Refer to the sections Partnership for ERA and Areas of Action of this website.

In 2010 the Innovation Union Communication has given a new strength to the ERA 2020 vision. By calling for the creation of a common framework of principles and objectives by 2014 the Union seeks to avoid the remaining fragmentation in its research systems.