The 2020 vision of the European Research Area is firmly rooted in society and responds to its needs and ambitions in the pursuit of sustainable development.
EU funding in 2010
€ 51.46 million
Europeans are attached to a model of society which combines a market economy, a high level of social protection and quality of life, and a number of principles, such as free access to knowledge. They are also aware of the richness of their cultural diversity and sensitive to the need to preserve it.
European countries are increasingly facing common problems, which they are tending to tackle at EU level. This is more and more the case for science in society issues like energy, environment and climate or the debate on GMOs. Progress in knowledge and technology, especially in life sciences and technologies, nanotechnology and information technology (cloning, embryonic tissue used for medical purposes, personal databases and virtual universes), goes hand-in-hand with a growing number of ethical issues.
But cultural diversity and separate national traditions mean ethical issues concerning scientific and technological advance are approached differently from one country to another. It is therefore important to foster convergent and coherent approaches to these issues, especially in areas where the EU has responsibilities.