News archive - Greek View on S&T Policy towards the Western Balkan Countries

The strategic goal of Greece in the Balkans is to create the preconditions for stability, functioning democratic processes and institutions, cooperation, development and prosperity, as well as fulfilment of the political criteria, which will allow all the Balkan countries without exception to become members of the European Union. Up to now, political and economic crises in many countries of South East Europe, have dramatically affected the potential for research and technological growth. The impact from the reduction of national expenses for RTD and the reduction of critical mass because of the formation of new states and the simultaneous brain drain have been equally important.

The Action Plan on S&T

In June 2003, following an initiative of the Greek Presidency of the EU and with the support of the EC, the EU-Balkan Countries Action Plan in Science and Technology was adopted at the Thessaloniki Summit.
The Action Plan created a strong momentum for enhanced scientific and technological cooperation between the EU and the WBCs but also among the WBCs themselves.
Several activities originate in the Action Plan and contribute to the achievement of its goals: the launching of specific calls for proposals in the context of the FP6, the implementation of the SEE-ERA.NET project and of several other projects in the field of e-infrastructures (such as SINSEE, SEEREN, SEE-Grid etc.), and the Steering Platform for strengthening research cooperation between the Western Balkan countries and the EU within the framework of the European Research Area (ERA). It is essential that all necessary action should be taken for the reinforcement of the RTD capacities in each country and in the region. Specific actions should be focused on issues concerning the development of research infrastructures, the improvement of human potential, the creation of institutes and the promotion of common RTD actions in regions of mutual interest and more specifically in sectors that will strengthen innovation. Moreover, specific actions are required and these should be focused on the Western Balkans region. The Greek state is strongly interested in growth and research activities in the region.
Since 2000, the General Secretariat for Research and Technology of the Greek Ministry of Development has funded almost 250 bilateral joint research projects, especially in the Balkan countries, with a total budget of 3,472,833 euros. The following budgets have been allocated: Albania: 984,855 euros, Bulgaria 380,667 euros, Montenegro 120,000 euros, Romania 1,168,318 euros, and Yugoslavia-Serbia 728,993 euros.

Article published in eJournal winter 06/07.
Author Nikos Sidiropoulos, General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT)

Entry created by Nikos Sidiropoulos on March 5, 2007
Modified on March 6, 2007