IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE - The information on this site is subject to a disclaimer and a copyright notice
Banner Research
  European Commission   > Research > Growth
Homepage Competitive and Sustainable Growth - Making the European Research Area a Reality
Graphic element
Graphic element
Graphic element
Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Aeronautics projects > Briefing Note for the Media
Graphic element

Briefing Note for the Media
The 2020 Vision
A Winning Initiative for European Aeronautics


A Group of 14 eminent personalities has been set up by M. Philippe Busquin, the European Commissioner for Research, with the tasks of developing a vision for the European aeronautics and air transport system up to 2020 and beyond and making recommendations on how to achieve it. This unique initiative was recommended by a Special Advisory Group whose report last spring on the challenges facing European aeronautics underlined the potential benefits of defining a common vision for the various stakeholders. The Members of the Busquin Group are extremely well-qualified for their mission, they have a profound knowledge of the different sectors and unrivalled experience of operating on a global scale. After a first meeting on 10 October, the Group will work on a report for final adoption just before the Christmas holidays to be presented at the Aerodays Conference on January 2001.

The 2020 Vision
The Busquin Group is being asked for an ambitious and inclusive common vision, which is not a prediction but an aspiration for the air transport and aeronautics in the next 20 years and beyond and the leading role that Europe is committed to play. The industry is already fully agreed on the need for such a vision and the research to underpin it.
The 2020 vision reflects the long lead times which are characteristic of the sector's R&D and production processes.
The importance to Europe of its aeronautics sector
  • A leading industrial sector in Europe with an annual turnover of more than 60 billion Euros, directly employing over 420, 000 people with another 800,000 jobs supporting the industry's activities.
  • Europe's leading export sector with a balance of trade surplus of over 22 billion Euros in 1999.
  • A crucial asset for the knowledge economy which is the key to Europe's future prosperity. The industry is technologically innovative; provides spin-offs to other sectors, invests on average 15% of its turnover in research and is a primary user of advanced technologies in its products, services, design and manufacture.
  • 30% of public funded aeronautics civil research is now organised at the European level in the EU's Framework Programme.
  • A pillar of the European air transport system, aeronautics is a vital source of mobility for business and the leisure economy in Europe.
  Challenges to be faced

Questions the 2020 Vision will seek to answer include:

  • How to build on current success and become world leaders in all aspects of aeronautics? With world-wide demand for aircraft, engines and related equipment and advanced services expected to more than double in the next 20 years, the industry must achieve an even stronger competitive position.
  • How to meet the needs and respond to the concerns of society in favour of greater environmental protection and improvements in the quality of life? As passengers, people want safe, punctual, comfortable and economic air travel; as citizens they want less noise and atmospheric pollution from aircraft.
  • How to sustain and strengthen competitiveness against major rivals? Aeronautics research continues to be much higher in the US with a rate of investment and innovation that risks leaving Europe behind.
  • How to sustain and strengthen a continuing flow of innovation and technology to underpin a leading role for the industry, its products and air transport-related services in global markets? European Heads of State and Government drew attention to " the pre-eminent role of research for economic and social prosperity in Europe," at their European Council at Lisbon in the spring.
  • How to establish a coherent, research agenda as the basis for a long-term strategy for European aeronautics? How to better organise R&D at enterprise, regional, national and European levels and foster greater synergies between them?
  • How to turn Commissioner Busquin's concept of a European Research Area into a framework for a more effective use of resources? Work could focus on linking the national programmes, optimising the use of research infrastructures, creating tighter networks of research centres, promoting an approach to education that will secure the long-term availability and quality of talent for aeronautics?

For further information:

  • Jack Metthey, European Commission (tel.: +32 2 296.88.70)
  • Herbert von Bose, European Commission (tel.: +32 2 295.90.74)


  Members - group of personalities on aeronautics

ARGÜELLES Pedro Mr. Chairman of the board and CEO, AENA ES
BISCHOFF Manfred Mr. Chairman of the supervisory board, DaimlerChrisler Aerospace AG DE
BUSQUIN Philippe Mr. EU Commissioner for Research (Chairman) EU
DROSTE B.A.C. Mr. Chairman of the board - NIVR, Netherlands Agency for Aerospace Programs NL
EVANS Richard Sir Chairman, BAE Systems UK
KRÖLL Walter Mr. Vorsitzender des Vorstandes, DLR, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt e.V. DE
LAGARDERE Jean-Luc Mr. President, Groupe Lagardere FR
LINA Alberto Mr. Vice Chairman and CEO, Finmeccanica IT
LUMSDEN John Mr. Assistant Secretary, Department of Public Enterprise, Aviation Development and International Relations Division IRL
RANQUE Denis Mr. Chairman and CEO, Thomson-CSF FR
RASMUSSEN SØREN Mr. President and CEO, Rovsing Dynamics DK
ROBINS Ralph Sir Chairman Rolls-Royce plc UK
TERHO Helena Ms. Senior VP. Kone, Member of the Board, Finnair FIN
WITTTLÖV Arne Mr. Executive Vice President, AB VOLVO SW
The 2020 Vision
The importance to Europe of its aeronautics sector
Challenges to be faced
Members - group of personalities on aeronautics

Homepage Graphic element Top of the page