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Sixth Framework Programme (2000-2006): Citizens and governance in a knowledge-based society

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This specific programme aims to mobilise European research capacities in the economic, political, social and human sciences that are necessary to develop an understanding of the knowledge-based society and relationships between its citizens, on the one hand, and between its citizens and institutions, on the other, in order to address issues relating to the emergence of this new society.

ACT

Council Decision 2002/835/EC of 30 September 2002 adopting a specific programme for research, technological development and demonstration: "Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area" (2002-2006) [Official Journal L 294 of 29.10.2002].

SUMMARY

Background

The formation of a common vision of the social and human dimension around the strategic objective set by the European Union (EU) in Lisbon of making Europe "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustained growth, growth providing more and better jobs and greater social cohesion" by 2010 is an ongoing challenge for scientists, researchers in social, human, economic and political sciences and for policymakers.

The duty of all democratic governments is to ensure that social, human and economic issues are taken into consideration in their research activities and to inform their citizens about all social aspects relating to the scientific and technological progress made in the areas covered.

Given the recent nature of the concept of a "knowledge-based economy and society" and its key importance for the European strategy of relaunching and modernising, it is necessary to promote research and analysis in this field to support national and Community policies.

Wide-ranging work has been launched and must continue on subjects such as governance, certain economic policy issues, the functioning of the internal market as well as the effects of the single currency, employment policies, regional development policies and issues relating to social integration and cultural minorities. It is essential to explore, in a collective manner, new topics which probe and investigate and which are directly related to current political events by pooling the intellectual resources of the European countries.

The Sixth Framework Programme and, in a broader context, the construction of a European Research Area contribute towards mobilising and improving the European research potential in the field of the social and human sciences. These activities will make it possible to continue with the consideration of socio-economic issues related to research in the context of the Lisbon strategy.

Content

The budget in the Sixth Framework Programme for this priority is 225 million and the activities focus on the following two main topics:

  • The knowledge-based society and social cohesion

The aim of research and science in this area is to contribute to understanding the factors which surround knowledge and the phenomena underlying the knowledge-based society. These activities take account of the economic, political, social, cultural and cognitive aspects of knowledge, its dynamics and its scientific and technological contents and interactions, including those with teaching and business. Finally, particular attention is also paid to the problems and challenges raised by the issues of regional development, issues relating to social integration and cultural minorities, as well as migration, immigration and enlargement. Research work is aimed in particular at:

- improving the production, dissemination and use of knowledge and its effects on economic and social development;

- achieving an overall understanding of how a knowledge-based society can promote the societal objectives of sustainable development, social and geographic cohesion and improvement in the quality of life in the EU, taking full account of the various social models in Europe and aspects relating to the ageing of the population;

- developing comparative scenarios across Europe, enabling improvements to be made to the basis for the formulation and implementation of strategies for transition towards a knowledge-based society at the national and regional levels.

  • Citizenship, democracy and new forms of governance

The aim of this second area is to support, in particular in the context of increased integration and globalisation, and from the perspectives of history and cultural heritage, research on:

- the consequences of European integration and enlargement of the Union for democracy, the concept of legitimacy, and the functioning of the institutions,

- research on the redefinition of areas of competence and responsibility, and new forms of governance,

- issues connected with the resolution of conflicts and restoration of peace and justice, including the safeguarding of fundamental rights, and

- the emergence of new forms of citizenship and cultural identities, and the forms and impact of integration and cultural diversity in Europe; social and cultural dialogue involving Europe as well as the rest of the world.

In operational terms, these activities will focus on:

- support for transnational research and comparative studies and the development of statistics and qualitative and quantitative indicators;

- interdisciplinary research in support of public policies;

- the establishment and exploitation of research infrastructures and of data and knowledge bases on a European scale.

REFERENCES

ActDate
of entry into force
Final date for implementation in the Member States
Decision 1513/2002/ECDate of application: 01.01.2003
Date of expiry: 31.12.2006
-

RELATED ACTS

Commission staff working paper: "Science, society and citizens in Europe" [SEC (2000) 1973 - Not yet published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: "Innovation in a knowledge-driven economy" [COM (2000) 567 final - Not yet published in the Official Journal].

European governance: A White Paper [COM (2001) 428 final - Not yet published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission: "A European Initiative for growth: Investing in networks and knowledge for growth and employment" - Interim Report to the European Council [COM (2003) 579 final - Not yet published in the Official Journal].

Last updated: 05.01.2007
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