Reillon, V. (2016). The European Research Area. Evolving concept, implementation challenges. European Parliamentary Research Service, D-G for Parliamentary Research Services, European Parliament. 40 pp. ISBN 978-92-823-8859-4. doi:10.2861/427861.
The European Research Area (ERA) is the policy concept at the heart of the common European policy for research. The framing and adoption of ERA in 2000 was the result of a lengthy process started in 1972. Proposed by the European Commission, the concept has been reshaped by the Council of the European Union in 2008 and influenced by the involvement of stakeholders since 2012.
This publication aims to provide an overview of the European Research Area concept, based on an historical perspective of more than 40 years of European policies in research. The paper focuses on the role of the different European institutions in modelling the concept and in addressing the barriers to its implementation.
The commitment of the Member States is now at the heart of the process of developing ERA. More than 40 years after the first steps to establish a common research policy, and 16 years after the formulation of the concept, ERA remains a work in progress, as both a complex concept to define and a challenging one to implement.