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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

04 Feb 2020

Research ministers discuss brain circulation and ERA in Zagreb

Research ministers of EU Member States and EFTA countries exchanged their views on brain circulation and a vision of the future European Research Area during an informal meeting in Zagreb. Two keynote speakers, former Commissioner Phillipe Busquin and Croatian innovator Mate Rimac gave their personal views on these topics, which served as an inspiring introduction to the ministerial political discussion which followed.

Commissioner Mariya Gabriel also stressed the importance of creating equal opportunities for all EU citizens, which is also on the agenda of the new President of the European Commission.

On the topic of brain circulation, the Croatian Presidency raised the question of assessment and adjustment of existing national and EU policies and instruments to achieve balanced circulation of researchers and counterbalancing potential negative effects of brain drain. Ministers recognised the great need for improvement, at all levels - institutional, national and European – and gave good examples of national practices.

In relation to the revision of the European Research Area (ERA), ministers identified existing obstacles and outlined new initiatives and measures to be taken in the post-2020-ERA in order to make it an instrument for achieving a truly ‘open labour market for researchers’. Ministers acknowledged the progress achieved, but also noted that the revised ERA should go further into building a stronger ecosystem in Europe. Necessity for a bottom up creation of such an ecosystem was especially underlined.

Commissioner Gabriel and ministers emphasised co-creation, ownership, inclusion and citizen engagement as key elements of the new ERA. It should be built on the model of excellence, but also ensure more openness and a more balanced approach in engaging a broader range of stakeholders coming from different parts of Europe.

Source: Croatian Presidency Press Release

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