At today's meeting in Brussels, the Competitiveness Council (Research and Space), under the Presidency of Cyprus Minister of Interior Ms Eleni Mavrou, reached preliminary agreement (partial general approach) on the Specific Programme implementing Horizon 2020 and on the Strategic Innovation Agenda of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
With these two agreements the Cyprus Presidency achieves its targets as regards the Horizon 2020 package, the new EU funding programme for research and innovation for the period 2014-2020, setting the stage for the negotiation with the European Parliament that will complete the agreement.
EU Research Ministers agreed to a "partial general approach" in two legislative proposals of Horizon 2020. The first is the Specific Programme implementing Horizon 2020, which includes the priority areas to be funded for EU research and innovation for the period 2014-2020. The second proposal is the Strategic Innovation Agenda of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) for the period 2014-2020, which includes the creation of new Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) to address social challenges.
“This was an important Council meeting today” Ms Mavrou said. "The Council agreed on a mandate to negotiate Horizon 2020 with the European Parliament, and the Cyprus Presidency achieved fully the targets it set in research and innovation. We should be proud of this achievement”, she added.
European Research Area and International Cooperation
The Council adopted conclusions on actions to be carried out by the Member States and the European Commission, with a view to completing the European Research Area by 2014. Following the Commission’s Communication on ‘a Reinforced European Research Area Partnership for Excellence and Growth’, actions will aim to improve the effectiveness of national research and innovation systems, to encourage cross-border cooperation between Member States, to open-up the labour market for researchers, to promote gender equality in research, and to enable optimal circulation, access to and transfer of scientific knowledge.
In their exchange of views the ministers expressed their strong support to the new strategy for strengthening international cooperation in research and innovation, as proposed in the recent Communication of the European Commission.
Presidency achievements on Research and Innovation
Minister Mavrou expressed her satisfaction with the achievement of all targets set by the Cyprus Presidency on research and innovation. "We are very pleased with the achievements of our Presidency this semester as we have attained all the goals we initially set for the dossier of research and innovation. We have managed to reach a partial general approach on four legislative proposals of the Horizon 2020 package, which is indeed impressive”, she said.
According to the Cypriot minister, important steps forward were made this semester on both the European Research Area and the development of EU international cooperation in research and innovation, with a particular emphasis on the Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation.
“Today’s constructive exchange of views confirmed the commitment of EU Research Ministers, expressed at the Informal meeting of the Council on 20 July 2012, to promote Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in research and innovation, as well as the readiness of their countries to participate in the preparation of a joint research programme on Euro-Mediterranean region, based on Article 185 of the EU Treaty", Ms Mavrou concluded.
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