New European Research Area: Council adopts conclusions

Source: Council of the European Union (Council) i, published on Tuesday, December 1 2020.

The Council today adopted a set of conclusions on a major overhaul of the European Research Area (ERA) in the years to come. These conclusions, together with the Commission communication entitled "A new ERA for research and innovation", are two key milestones in efforts to build a common research area that is more tangible and impactful for researchers, innovators and citizens throughout Europe.

According to the Council, the new ERA should link better research & innovation with relevant policy areas, notably with the European education area and the various industrial ecosystems.

In these conclusions, the Council stresses the need for the Commission and the member states to co-create and jointly implement a new ERA that enables all EU member states, research institutions, scientists, businesses and citizens to benefit alike.

The Council highlights the importance of a continued openness to international collaboration for achieving the goals of the new ERA and supporting Europe’s role as a global leader, which will contribute to further attracting talents and investments.

Particular emphasis is put on closer research & innovation coordination in the ERA between regional, national and European levels for maximising the impact of investments, achieving common policy objectives and reducing the R&I divide across the Union.

The Council conclusions set out the new ERA goals. They also define a number of priority fields in which action should be undertaken in order to achieve these goals.

Finally, the Council calls on the Commission and the member states to develop in 2021 an ERA policy agenda and a multi-level governance model capable of delivering on the new ERA.


The need for a new ERA vision was recognised in the European Leader’s agenda 2019-2024 which underlines that “we must step up investment in people's skills and education, do more to foster entrepreneurship and innovation and increase research efforts, in particular by addressing the fragmentation of European research, development and innovation”.

The Commission Communication “A new ERA for Research and Innovation” was issued on 30 September 2020.

Horizon Europe foresees a chapter on "Widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area" with at least 3,3% of the overall Horizon Europe budget.