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Members of the European Parliament showed interest in the Slovenian Presidency’s vision of the future of the European Research Area

Mojca Kucler Dolinar, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

The Slovenian Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology Mrs Mojca Kucler Dolinar today gave a presentation before the European Parliament Committee for Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). She presented the Slovenian Presidency priorities in the field of science, technology and information society to the MEPs and then answered questions from them.

“Europe has entered a period of new opportunities, which have to be used efficiently to achieve appreciable sustainable progress in strategic areas such as upgrading research infrastructure, establishing the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and the Joint Technology Initiative,” emphasised the Minister, co-president of the EU Competitiveness Council.

In the field of science and technology, the Slovenian Presidency will endeavour to conclude the adoption procedure regarding EUROSTARS initiatives (initiatives to encourage and provide financing for market-oriented industrial research and development, with particular emphasis on small and medium-sized companies in the research and development sector) and Ambient Assisted Living (AAL). The Presidency will continue discussions on the initiative to establish a Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking and will pursue the activities related to establishing the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and setting up its Governing Board. One of the priority tasks is also enhancing the European Research Area (ERA), including more effective integration of the Western Balkan countries and strengthening the role of women in science. 

The Presidency’s efforts in the field of information society will be focused on evaluation of the i2010 strategic policy framework, which is one of the key elements of the renewed Lisbon Partnership for Growth and Employment. The aim is also to ensure more efficient and faster implementation of the i2010 initiative. In order to provide information and network security, the Presidency will focus strongly on looking for an adequate legislative framework to continue the activities performed by the European Network and Information Security Agency. We will work on seeking adequate solutions for the timely adoption of the legal basis with a view to facilitating smooth progress in implementing the Safer Internet community programme.

At the invitation of MEP Dr Paul Rübig from Austria, Mrs Kucler Dolinar proceeded to present in more detail the EUROSTARS initiative before the Committee. The initiative originating within the EUREKA network will provide R&D-oriented small and medium-sized companies with better access to national financing for their international projects. This is a major initiative under Article 169 of the Treaty establishing the European Community; it is worth EUR 400 million and is expected to be adopted during the Slovenian Presidency. It was also discussed by Dr Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Science and Research, and Luuk Borg, Head of the EUREKA Secretariat.


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Date: 24.01.2008