News archive - Potočnik sets out aims for SE Europe

Janez Potočnik, EU Science and Research Commissioner, spoke at the Science, Higher Education and Innovation Policy Forum in Budva, Montenegro. He pointed out that the South Eastern European region should take its rightful place within the European Research Area with the help of the EU. He encouraged the region to use education, research and innovation as tools for their own development, but also for eventual accession to the EU.

Commissioner Potocnik also recognised the many challenges faced by the region.  According to the Commissioner, the SEE region is suffering from problems - in some cases in an extreme form - of the very same nature that we are tackling within the European Research Area as a whole.

Therefore the Commissioner set out a three-pronged action plan for strengthening research capacity in the Western Balkan countries. Boosting research cooperation at regional and European level was on top of Mr Potocnik's list. Secondly, he called on countries in the region to design integrated research priorities. The Commissioner's last recommendation concerned the modernisation and improvement of research capacity.

Most of the countries of the region are now fully paid up members of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), allowing their scientists to participate fully in EU-funded research projects. Meanwhile efforts are being made to explore the potential of other funding instruments and sources, such as the Pre-Accession Instrument, the European Investment Bank and COST (European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research), to boost research capacity.

Commissioner Potocnik emphasized on three factors for strenghthening the WBC'S research capacity:

  1. achieving greater research co-operation at regional level and within the European-level programmes 
  2. countries within the region should design integrated research policies
  3. modernisation and improvement of research capacities must be made a priority

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To read the press release about Janez Potočnik's speach, please visit:

Entry created by Elke Dall on July 29, 2008
Modified on July 29, 2008