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image European Research News Centre > Research and Society > At the dawning of the ERA
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image image image Date published: 03/04/2002
  image At the dawning of the ERA
RTD info Special
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  As the European Research Area (ERA) takes shape, what do Europeans think of European research policy? What is the added value of joint research carried out in several countries? In what areas is the Union actively involved? What impact can we expect enlargement to have on scientific potential?
   
     
   

Europeans do not seem to know a great deal about the EU's areas of competence. Out of ten areas proposed, only three were quoted by more than half the respondents: agriculture, international trade and the environment. Just 38.2% identified science and technology as an EU area of competence. The higher the age when studies were completed, the more likely people were to attribute competence to the EU.

At the same time it seems that Europeans would like to see Europe become more involved in a number of fields, such as consumer protection, employment and social affairs, energy - and also science. They would like the Community to have more powers to intervene in all these areas.

But how? How, for example, can the level of research be improved in Europe? When interviewees were given a list of possible actions, they showed a clear preference for better organisation rather than increased investment.

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