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A new Community legal framework for European research infrastructures

test tubes

On 29 May 2009, the Council of the European Union reached a political agreement on a draft regulation which will greatly facilitate the setting-up of large research infrastructures in Europe.

The new Community legal framework for a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) will provide a legal personality recognised in all Member States and some of the advantages of international organisations, such as VAT exemptions.

Until now, the absence of an adequate legal framework allowing the creation of appropriate partnership with partners from different countries has been a major difficulty for Member States. The resulting lack of legal and fiscal clarity caused delays in investment and construction. The new tailor-made legal framework will offer the opportunity to cut down significantly the time necessary for setting up European research infrastructures.

The Community legal framework is expected to facilitate the implementation of the ESFRI roadmap which contains 44 key projects of European interest to be developed in the next 10-20 years.

Creating an appropriate Community legal framework for the development of pan-European research infrastructures is one of the key initiatives taken by the European Commission to reinforce the European Research Area. In its Conclusions on the first steps towards the realisation of the ERA (Vision 2020), adopted the same day, 29th May 2009, the Competitiveness Council also highlights the importance of the development of joint visions for research infrastructures at European level.

Press release of the 2945th Council meeting, Competitiveness, Brussels, 28-29 May 2009

Council conclusions on the first steps towards the realisation of the ERA (Vision 2020)

More information will be soon available on ERIC-LEGAL FRAMEWORK