Making a success of integration

At CERN, more than 1 000 scientists representing 94 institutions and 28 countries are working on the ALICE experiment in which the LHC will cause lead ions to collide to recreate in the laboratory the conditions that prevailed just before the Big Bang. The data obtained will make it possible to study the development of matter from the birth of the universe until the present day. © CERN
At CERN, more than 1 000 scientists representing 94 institutions and 28 countries are working on the ALICE experiment in which the LHC will cause lead ions to collide to recreate in the laboratory the conditions that prevailed just before the Big Bang. The data obtained will make it possible to study the development of matter from the birth of the universe until the present day.
© CERN

© ITER
© ITER
© Shutterstock
© Shutterstock

The road towards a unified and attractive European Research Area (ERA), which guarantees the fifth freedom – the movement of researchers, knowledge and technology – is still a long one. Seven years since the ERA’s birth in Lisbon, the Commission decided to measure the distance covered so far and what remains to be done. This lengthy task began in 2007 with the publication of a Green Paper on new perspectives for the ERA. This was then followed by a wide-ranging public consultation of all stakeholders lasting several months. Reflections gleaned from the four corners of Europe served to identify the progress made, but also and in particular the delays and gaps that are preventing the ERA from reaching its full potential. It remained to consider the resources needed to make good these shortcomings. This task was assigned to various groups of experts.

The outcome of their labours is the ‘Vision 2020’ for the ERA. This was adopted by Member States in Ljubljana in May 2008, as part of the re-launch process that now bears the name of the Slovenian capital. In addition to strengthening the overall governance of the ERA, initiatives will be launched in five key areas: careers and researcher mobility, research infrastructure, knowledge transfer between public research and industry, joint planning and international cooperation. The task is a huge one, but the ERA’s future depends on it.


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