The European Research Area
Knowledge is Europe´s engine for innovation. Europe has a rich, functionally diverse research sphere while facing tough scientific competition globally. The European Research Area is defined by mobility, freedom of movement and the open exchange of knowledge. Research and innovation secure jobs and wealth which is why promotion of research at a national and European level must be characterized by a consistent focus on excellence.
Promotion of Excellence
The European Research Council (ERC) is the vehicle of the European promotion of excellence as a global benchmark. Since it was founded 11 years ago, it has become an international reference point and the key driver for research excellence in Europe. Therefore, the ERC must be consolidated in Horizon Europe in its current form and expanded financially over and above the level suggested by the Commission in order to keep the urgently needed excellent researchers in Europe and attract researchers from third countries to the EU.
Europe needs a strong budget
The European Commission has suggested for Horizon Europe a budget of almost EUR 100 billion for the period 2021 - 2027, 30 percent more than its predecessor's budget. In light of the political challenges being faced during the course of Brexit, the EU Commission has increased funding in order to acknowledge the importance of research and innovation at a time of global competition for knowledge and technology. At the same time, the Lisbon target of investing 3% of the GDP across Europe in R&D is far from a reality. Therefore, further major efforts are needed to ensure that the EU remains on course. It is more important now than ever before to maintain and improve the attractiveness of the ERA as a site for world-class research.