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Mrs Kucler Dolinar very pleased with implementation of science and research action plan

“Although many warned us about excessive ambitions, we shall nonetheless reap a fine harvest,” said Slovenian Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology and current Competitiveness Council President, Mojca Kucler Dolinar, following the meeting of the EU Competitiveness Council. “The Slovenian Presidency submitted for adoption three important legislative documents that will improve the quality of life of European citizens and the position of small and medium-sized enterprises and thus the competitiveness of the European Union. In addition, we launched the process of restructuring the European research area (ERP) that both incoming Presidency trios have already included in their Presidency programmes. Today we took practical action on implementing the ERA in the field of intellectual property and the practical application of knowledge, an area in which Europe is a poor performer compared with other developed countries,” commented the Council President.

European Research Area

Today, the Ministers competent for research adopted a Council Resolution on the management of intellectual property in knowledge transfer activities and a Code of Practice for universities and public research organisations. This will enable the more rapid establishment of an environment enabling knowledge and research results to be more easily converted into innovations and market applications. Managing the intellectual property of publicly financed universities and research institutes is one of the key issues in boosting European competitiveness and in the cooperation between these institutions and companies.

The core subject of discussion will be the Ljubljana Process, whereby the Presidency achieved an unexpected breakthrough in developing the European research area. The Presidency’s vision of the future of the ERA and of its political management was supported by all the Member States, in particular the incoming Presidency trio, that adopted the joint declaration, in which they advocated coordinated action with the aim of implementing the Ljubljana Process in full.

The ERA will be further deployed and reinforced by the conclusions adopted today on research infrastructure, in which the Ministers highlighted cooperation between regions and the association of public and private financing, as well as the conclusions on family-friendly scientific careers. Regarding human resources they undertook to develop the integrated policy model that will create a family-friendly environment for researchers.


The Council of Ministers today adopted the Regulation setting up the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. This will contribute significantly to achieving Lisbon strategy objectives aimed at boosting European competitiveness, creating a better quality of life for the elderly and providing better conditions for research-intensive small and medium-sized enterprises.

Important progress in reaching agreement on EIT headquarters

On the margins of the Council meeting, during their working dinner, the EU Ministers discussed the location of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). Although they could not make a final selection, the Slovenian Presidency was successful in ensuring that joint selection criteria were defined, specifically: the headquarters of the Institute should be located in one of the new Member States and priority should be given to the Member States that did not already host another EU agency. The Ministers re-affirmed that a decision on EIT’s headquarters should be taken as soon as possible and agreed to convene again on 18 June.


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Date: 06.06.2008