Foreword to the 2018 progress report
This fourth edition of the European Research Area (ERA) Progress Report for the period 2016-2018 comes as we are more than halfway through the implementation of the ERA roadmap 2015-2020.
The National Action Plans that most countries have published in 2016 in line with the ERA roadmap show an ambition to make further progress on ERA.
Progress in achieving ERA's goals, as measured against a core set of 24 indicators covering all six ERA priorities, is real. But the pace seems to be slowing and large disparities between countries persist.
There is not only considerable room for further improvement on most priorities. The slowing down of progress overall also calls for a reflection on how to accelerate, strengthen and further encourage implementation of ERA priorities.
The premise and promise of ERA is to better align national and European research and innovation agendas, reaching critical mass and true value added at European level. As new challenges arise, European and national authorities need to increasingly adapt their policy response in order to seize new opportunities and remove old obstacles.
ERA priorities will thus also evolve over time. There is an expectation for a review and deepening of the ERA in 2020. Our common goal – of Member States, Associated Countries and the European Commission – is to continue building in close cooperation with all ERA-stakeholders a modern and agile ERA that enables us to jointly help shape the future we want, for the benefit of all European citizens.
Director-General for DG Research & Innovation