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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

21 Jul 2015

Luxembourg Presidency presents its priorities to ITRE

Marc Hansen, Luxembourg's Secretary of State for Higher Education and Research, presented the priorities of the Luxembourg Council Presidency to the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) of the European Parliament at its meeting in Brussels on 15 July 2015.

The development and achievement of the European Research Area (ERA) will be a high priority, in particular improving the coordination and coherence of research policies at EU level, since two European Commission ERA Progress Reports indicate a fragmentation of the ERA between Member States. The Luxembourg presidency will attach "particular importance" to implementing the Conclusions of the Competitiveness Council of 29 May 2015 regarding the ERA Roadmap for 2015-2020 and the ERA advisory structure.

In this context, the Presidency of ERA, the European Research Area and Innovation Committee, is due to be transformed, which Mr. Hansen called a "major" reform which seeks to put the Member States and the Commission on an equal footing. The respective Conclusions should be adopted by the Competitiveness Council on 1 December 2015.

The Luxembourg presidency will also make gender equality and gender mainstreaming in research, the fourth priority of the ERA Roadmap, a priority which it is discussing at the informal Council meeting on 21 July 2015. The Secretary of State also referred to the importance of open recruitment procedures at institutional level, again stressing the importance of making "real progress in achieving a better balance between men and women in positions of responsibility and leadership".

Promoting research integrity was mentioned as another priority of the Presidency. It seeks to initiate discussions on scientific integrity and preventing misconduct with a particular focus on training. Council Conclusions on this issue should also be adopted at the Competitiveness Council on 1 December 2015,

During the debate, MEPs criticised once more the fact that € 2.7 billion have been takein from Horizon 2020 in order to finance the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI). Mr. Hansen stated that Luxembourg shared this point of view and said "We must ensure that this money is invested in research and innovation". The ITRE members congratulated the Presidency for having made gender equality a priority.

The ITRE Committee was also addressed by Prime Minister and Minister for Communications Media Xavier Bettel on the digital economy as a horizontal priority of the Luxembourg Presidency, as well as by Etienne Schneider, Minister for Economy and Trade on priorities regarding the single market, the modernisation of copyright and easy access to finance for SMEs.

For more information:

LU Council Presidency - press release

EP - press release

Photo: Secretary of State Marc Hansen at ITRE Committee (by LU Presidency)

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