The overall aim of the Joint Programming process is to pool national research efforts in order to make better use of Europe's precious public R&D resources and to tackle common European challenges more effectively in a few key areas.
It is a structured and strategic process whereby Member States agree, on a voluntary basis and in a partnership approach, on common visions and Strategic Research Agendas (SRA) to address major societal challenges. On a variable geometry basis, Member States commit to Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) where they implement together joint Strategic Research Agendas.
The Joint Programming process was launched by a Communication of the Commission in July 2008 and the Competitiveness Council adopted several Conclusions since to guide the development of the process (see Background). It has mandated a dedicated configuration of ERAC (the High Level Group on Joint Programming - GPC) to steer the process and identify the themes for possible JPIs.