News archive - Joint Research Centre Providing Support to the Western Balkans

The Directorate General Joint Research Centre (JRC) includes the scientific and technical institutes and laboratories of the European Commission. It is the in-house research body of the European institutions and it is independent of any national and private interests. It employs 2700 staff, mostly researchers and technicians, and its seven institutes are located in 5 EU Member States. As such, JRC is uniquely positioned to provide customer-driven scientific and technical support for the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of EU policies.

Article published in eJournal spring 07.

The JRC also supports the EU Enlargement policy. This is done through the Enlargement and Integration Action (E&IA), which is published every year. The main objective of the E&IA is to strengthen collaboration with the New Member States (NMS), Candidate Countries (CC), including Croatia and FYR of Macedonia and Potential Candidate Countries (PCC), including Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. More particularly, the E&IA focuses on complex scientific and technical issues within the JRC remit, which underpin EU legislation and cover a wide range of policy areas, such as environment, health, food, energy, chemicals, agriculture and nuclear safety. E&IA consists of a number of integrated instruments aimed at stimulating scientific and technical collaboration. These are for example hosting temporary staff at the JRC Institutes, carrying out specialised workshops and training courses, organising events and disseminating information within the Enlargement Countries.

Over the last few years, JRC has made special efforts to promote the integration of organisations, researchers and experts from the WBC within its activities and projects. We have already achieved the first positive results in the areas of metrology in chemistry, monitoring of agriculture with remote sensing (MARS), assessment of renewable energies potential, food quality and safety, prevention of natural disasters etc.

As another tool to promote collaboration and exchange of knowledge and good practices, JRC organises over 100 specialised scientific and technical workshops annually, all of which are open to experts from the Western Balkans. The participation rate is still low but increasing every year. In 2006 for example, the JRC researchers organised 137 workshops, of which 331 experts from the Western Balkans took part. The thematic areas of these workshops included food, chemicals, environment, metrology, agriculture, energy and nuclear safety, foresight etc., all of which are important research topics in the European countries, including the Western Balkans. In 2007, we are planning about 120 similar workshops.

Another attractive instrument for integration of researchers from Enlargement Countries into our activities is the possibility to work in JRC for a period of one to two years. Every year JRC reserves some 100 positions for seconded experts and visiting researchers at our laboratories. However, to be eligible for this opportunity, the expert must come from a country which is at least associated to FP7. In this respect it is very promising to see the efforts by the Western Balkan countries which are to be associated to FP7.

This means that the doors to European research collaboration activities are completely open to experts, including the possibility to apply for positions in JRC institutes. A new call for about 50 temporary job positions in the different JRC institutes will be published on our web-page at the end of May. We would like to encourage the Western Balkans experts, who come from countries to be soon associated to FP7, to submit their applications according to the published profiles as they will be also considered upon association.

Last but not least, we organise different dissemination activities in the Western Balkans. In June 2006 we held an Information Day in Zagreb, which was attended by some 220 experts and in April 2007 we organised our first Information Day together with DG Research in Skopje, at which some 220 experts were present. We will have an Information Day in Belgrade on June 12, 2007, where we intend to present important topics such as news from FP7, mobility of researchers, JRC achievements and possibilities for collaboration in the fields of environment, agriculture, food safety and quality, energies and others. We invite all interested experts to check our web-site at the beginning on June.

Entry created by Milena Raykovska on June 1, 2007
Modified on May 31, 2007