On 15 September 2014 the European Commission presented a first comprehensive analysis of the state of the 'single market' for research (ERA). The report provides a factual base for assessing progress in target areas like open and fair recruitment of researchers or better circulation of scientific knowledge.
The objective of the European Research Area (ERA) was endorsed by the March 2000 European Council and is anchored in the 2007 Treaty of Lisbon. Its aim is to achieve a “unified research area open to the world, based on the Internal Market, in which researchers, scientific knowledge and technology circulate freely and through which the Union and its Member States strengthen their scientific and technological bases, their competitiveness and their capacity to collectively address grand challenges.
In summary, the report concludes that:
Importantly however, the Commission notes that:
As a next step, reforms must now be implemented at the Member State level. Member States are due to put forward 'ERA Roadmaps' by mid-2015, which will outline their next steps towards ERA implementation.
The Commission has announced the launch of a debate with Member States on the best possible level of coordination and alignment of national research strategies and pooling of funding in the domains of the societal challenges. Commission, research stakeholder organisations and Member States will meet in Brussels in March 2015.
The full communication can be found here.