Brussels, 7 June 2002
The Commission calls on Candidate Countries to join its research efforts
In the enlarged European Union, research and development (R&D) will be key in meeting the challenge of turning the EU into an economic powerhouse, with more and better jobs and sustainable growth. This is why EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin today addressed the European Business Summit, the Brussels gathering of 1500 policy makers and business executives tackling the issue of entrepreneurship and sustainable development in an enlarged Europe. "We have to work with industry and other stakeholders to make the Lisbon goal come true" said Commissioner Busquin. "I invite entrepreneurs from Candidate Countries to join this policy debate. They are fully aware research is the main driver for innovation and economic development. And they will be key players in achieving the March 2002 Barcelona European Council of raising EU average R&D spending to 3% of European Gross Domestic Product (GDP)".
"Our objective of raising EU research spending will have a deep impact on EU industrial policy choices" also said Commissioner Busquin. "Technological progress and innovation are key factors in this process. EU enterprises and universities are formidable assets, but to fill the competitiveness gap with our competitors they have to link up in technological platforms, true test-beds of innovation and change."
"These platforms have to take off in fields such as aeronautics, energy, rail, biotechnology, health and pharmaceuticals. I therefore invite participants in the European Business Summit to steer 2004 edition towards R&D and the importance of new technologies for industry, their impact on growth and competitiveness and effects on other regions of the world. The potential of European research is largely underestimated. Europe has a considerable wealth of knowledge and know-how. But it does not invest enough into R&D, and certainly not in the most consistent way. Member States, Candidate Countries and EU Institutions, policy makers and entrepreneurs, have to join forces to meet this challenge".
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