Future of ERA


This section provides background information, input papers and news on developments in the current discussions on the future of the ERA.

In 2020, the European Research Area celebrated the 20th anniversary of its launch. Over the last two decades, a wide range of ERA-related policy reforms and initiatives have been successfully implemented, contributing towards the overarching objective of realising the ERA.

The ERA is currently in a transition period driven by new trends in the field of R&I policies, such as mission orientation or open science. The need for a new ERA paradigm is recognised in the European Leaders’ 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".

Against this background, an ERAC Ad-hoc Working Group on the Future of the ERA was established in 2019 and prepared the ERAC Opinion on the future of ERA.

On 30 September 2020, the European Commission presented its Communication on a New European Research Area (for download below). The new ERA will be based on excellence, competitive, talent-driven and open. Its four objectives are

  • Prioritising investments

  • Improving access to excellence

  • Translating R&I results into economic value

  • Deepening the ERA.

To achieve these objectives, the Commission proposes to work on 14 actions in close cooperation with EU Member States.