Looking into the EIT
The Commission launched, last month, a consultation process to determine the grounds for creating a European Institute of Technology (EIT), an idea coming out of the mid-term review of the EU's Lisbon Strategy to become the world's ‘know-how powerhouse'.
But before embarking on such an important project, the Commission wants to hear what stakeholders and European citizens have to say about it first. Promoting transparent policy-making, it published a ‘consultation document' and is seeking input from the wider education, research and innovation communities about their ambitions on this issue.
The primary aim of the public consultation is to gather opinions to help the Commission decide whether to take the idea further. It concentrates on key issues, such as the EIT's mission, objectives and possible structure, as well as what it would add to European economies and societies. The findings will be published as a report in early 2006 on a special website created for this exercise. Visit the site to read the consultation paper and post your thoughts on the EIT!
Quest for knowledge
The quest for knowledge is at the heart of the European project, helping to define European identity and values. “It is [the] driving force behind our future competitiveness,” notes the Commission's mid-term review of the Lisbon Process. To reinforce its commitment to knowledge as a “key to growth”, the Commission put the EIT on the table to “act as a pole of attraction for the very best minds, ideas and companies from around the world”.
The proposed EIT should draw on the considerable strengths of existing European institutions, the Commission noted in a press statement on the consultation. EU President José Manuel Barroso welcomed the consultation, saying that, “Together we need to strengthen Europe's potential in research and technology, by stimulating research careers, by encouraging European researchers to stay in Europe and by attracting the best brains from around the world to Europe.”
The consultation will run from September to mid-November. Once concluded, the Commission will consider whether it wishes to take the matter further, and may then prepare a paper for the Spring European Council in March 2006. If favoured by the European Council, the Commission would make a formal legislative proposal for the EIT to the Council and the European Parliament.EU sources