Sent to the European Council of Research Ministers meeting in Luxembourg the 26 June 2001.

The present Joint Statement has been produced by the three European organisations representing the academic community in Europe: funding agencies and national research organisations, national academies of sciences and humanities, universities and national organisations of universities.

ESF, ALLEA and the EUA have already produced detailed responses to the proposal from the European Commission for the Framework Programme 2002-2006 for Research (COM (2001) 94)1. In this joint statement the three European organisations emphasise some common concerns.

We welcome the concept of the European Research Area, introduced by Commissioner Busquin in 2000. We consider that this is an important initiative and we appreciate the function of the Commissionís Framework Programme Proposal as a vehicle to promote and further the European Research Area.

We strongly believe that the European Research Area and the Framework Programme should build on existing structures and organisations. The success of both will only be assured if there is a commitment by the EU Member States and other European countries to invest in and sustain basic research at an adequate level and to support, to a significant degree, research along the policy lines laid down in the Framework Programme proposal.

Success also requires a strong link between the European Research Area and the Bologna Process (recently further emphasised at the Prague Summit of European Education Ministers) to establish a European Higher Education Area. We encourage the Council of Ministers of Research and the European Commission to incorporate this link to contribute towards the creation of the European knowledge society.

We also welcome the added support to mobility of researchers. Human resources and the exchange of ideas and experience are the basis of all good research; and it is vitally important that mobility of researchers at all levels and stages in their careers is supported and that obstacles to mobility are removed as quickly as possible.

We would like to reiterate the importance of fully integrating the Humanities and Social Sciences in the new Framework Programme. The European Research Area takes shape in the context of European cultures and societies, and the contribution of these disciplines is needed in other areas to fully understand multi-culturalism and multi-lingualism in Europe. They are needed to address cultural identity, diversity and integration in Europe and the challenges, concerns and fears aroused by scientific and technological developments. Thus, the Humanities and the Social Sciences need to be more adequately represented in the Framework Programme Proposal.

It is of vital importance to the new Framework Programme that the European Commission can ensure that projects are selected on the basis of excellence and that procedures are clear and transparent and trusted by the research community.

Proposals for large-scale integrated projects are causing concern within the research community, as they may disadvantage smaller research groups, university departments, small and medium-sized enterprises and other groups active in innovative research.

All European Academies, the European Science Foundation and the European University Association are convinced that the European Research Area and the new Framework Programme can contribute towards the aims and goals outlined by the Heads of State of the EU Member States at the Lisbon Summit in 2000. We call upon the European institutions to consider our contributions to ensure that research, development and innovation are substantially promoted and supported.

Miss Johanne Martinez
+33 (0)3 88 76 71 14

Notes for Editors

The proposal from the European Commission is at:

The ESF response is at:

The ALLEA response is at:
The EUA statement may be obtained from