The Council emphasised the need to develop a new long-term vision (so called "Ljubljana Process"), based on the broad Lisbon goals to make Europe a leading knowledge economy and society. EU member states and the Commission should share the responsibility for establishing a genuine research area with the following features:
– free movement of knowledge, with excellent training and attractive career prospects for researchers;
– modern, globally competitive universities and research organisations;
– favourable conditions for the private sector, including small and medium-sized enterprises, to invest in research;
– benefits for citizens, with large-scale research efforts contributing to solve major societal challenges.
Ministers also agreed to improve the political governance of the ERA, by establishing strong links with education, innovation and other relevant policies and by associating all stakeholders, including regional authorities, universities and research institutions as well as business and civil society. Progress in building the ERA will be monitored using the Open Method of Coordination, based on jointly defined objectives and indicators and on the exchange of best practices.
The establishment of a European research area is one of the objectives the EU member states set themselves in the framework of the Lisbon strategy adopted by the European Council in March 2000. The aim was to better coordinate the research activities undertaken at national and EU levels, and "to ensure that Europe offers attractive prospects to its best brains".
A first outline of the new long-term vision for the ERA is expected to be endorsed by the Council by the end of the year.
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