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Brussels, 2nd July 2010

Commission to enhance in-house research capacity through new Joint Research Centre Strategy

The European Commission's own research arm, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), has today published its new strategy for the period 2010-2020. It envisages reinforced scientific support to EU policy-making based on assessments of policy options identified in close collaboration with the Commission's policy Directorates-General.

Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn stated: “The JRC is a huge asset for Europe and I want this to be more widely recognised. The Commission needs the JRC to provide cutting edge, in-house research to underpin policymaking. This strategy will enhance its capacity for policy analysis and focus its expertise on helping to deliver the Europe 2020 goal of sustainable and inclusive prosperity. The JRC will also act as a "radar" to help the Commission identify future risks and opportunities." .

Many of the complex challenges ahead cut across traditional policy boundaries and require multi-disciplinary research. In order to deliver the best support, the JRC will focus its efforts on seven thematic areas, which respond to major EU and global challenges and take into account the JRC's proven competences:

  • Towards an open and competitive economy

  • Development of a low carbon society

  • Sustainable management of natural resources

  • Safety of food and consumer products

  • Nuclear safety and security

  • Security and crisis management

  • Reference materials and measurements

The JRC's goal is to complement its usual scientific and technical support with a macro-economic assessment of the policy options at stake. In order to analyse the pros and cons of such options, competences in socio-economic research and modelling will be expanded and integrated with the natural science and engineering-based knowledge available.

A forward-looking capacity will help in anticipating societal, economic, environmental, technical or scientific issues that may in future become relevant to the EU policy-making process.

This integrated approach, which will take into account the latest and best scientific knowledge available, will contribute to well-defined and assessed policy scenarios, in the interest of the EU policy-makers and citizens.

JRC's new vision statement expresses its major ambition for the next decade: "to be a trusted provider of science-based policy options to EU policy makers to address key challenges facing our society, underpinned by internationally-recognised research".

JRC Director-general Roland Schenkel is due to present the Strategy at a press conference in Turin on Saturday 3 July, as part of the Euro-Science Open Forum, the biennial pan-European meeting dedicated to scientific research and innovation: .

Background information: the JRC structure and mission

The Joint Research Centre is a Directorate-General of the European Commission. It has seven scientific institutes located in five different EU countries. The total number of staff is 2750 and it has an annual institutional budget of approximately €350 million.

Its mission is to provide customer-driven scientific and technical support for the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of European Union policies. As a service to the European Commission, the JRC functions as a reference centre of science and technology for the Union. Close to the policy-making process, it serves the common interest of the Member States, while being independent of special interests, whether private or national.


The JRC Strategy 2010-2020 summary (JRC reports page):

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