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European Research Area (ERA)

The European Research Area brings together all of the European Union's (EU) resources to better coordinate research and innovation activities at the level of both the Member States and the Union. The area also aims to achieve a major ambition of the EU: to arrive at a truly common research policy.

This concept was launched by the European Commission in 2000 with the idea of developing truly attractive opportunities for researchers.

Previously, research at European level faced numerous difficulties: fragmentation of activities, isolation of national research systems, disparity of regulatory and administrative frameworks, and low levels of investment in knowledge.

The Lisbon Treaty establishes a clear legal basis for the creation of a European Research Area (Article 179 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU). This area will consist of a 'single market' for research and researchers and should make it possible to share data, compare results, carry out multi-disciplinary studies, transfer and protect new scientific knowledge and gain access to centres of excellence and state-of-the-art equipment.

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