Moving towards a European research space

13 September 2001 - Europe will be inching closer to a common research space this month when major international, national and regional organizations meet in Kiev (Ukraine) to define a common approach to fostering regional and sub-regional cooperation in science and technology.

From 22 to 25 September 2001, the International Association of Academies of Sciences (IAAS) is convening an International Symposium on The Role of International Organizations in the Development of a Common European Scientific–Technological Space as a follow-up activity to the World Conference on Science. The IAAS is an umbrella organization for the Academies of Sciences of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), as well as some other national and international scientific institutions.

The Symposium will take up where a Workshop of Experts left off on 16 May 2000. The two-day Workshop had served as a forum for discussion among pre-accession Central and Eastern European countries and the EUROPOLIS Project Group on European Science and Technology Policy and the Enlargement of the European Union. Organized in Venice (Italy) by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science in Europe (ROSTE), the Workshop was also planned within the framework of follow-up to the World Conference on Science.

The creation of a European research space is a gradual process but one that is gathering momentum. In January 2000, the European Commission presented its related policy initiative entitled ‘Towards a European Research Area’. In the words of Achilleas Mitsos of the Research Directorate-General, this initiative ‘addresses many of the issues raised by the World Conference on Science’.

On 21 February 2001, the European Commission adopted the proposal for the European Union’s new Research and Technological Development Framework Programme covering 2002-2006. The Programme is the main tool for the implementation of the European Research Area Initiative.

The Kiev meeting is being organized under the auspices of UNESCO and in close cooperation with ROSTE. It is being hosted by the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

Representatives of the major international, regional and national organizations will be participating. These include the Council of Europe, European Commission, INTAS, the Scientific Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Orgnaization (NATO), EUROSCIENCE, ALLEA, Joint Institute of Nuclear Research (JINR), National Academies of Sciences, National Science Funds and Foundations and research centres from some twenty European countries.

Additional information on the Symposium may be obtained from the Center for Scientific and Technological Potential and Science History Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, which is co-ordinating preparations for the Symposium. Write to: steps@carrier.kiev.ua