EU: Political agreement from European Council: Making Europe an attractive destination for research talent
  • 2024-03-19
  • Entrepreneurship Research Center on G20 Economies
  • Edit
  • To keep, attract, and retain more researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs in Europe, and to enhance the competitiveness of the European Union in the field of innovation, the European Council reached a political agreement on 8th December 2023. This agreement included a series of political recommendations, aiming for an open, transparent, sustainable European labor market, providing further support to researchers, making Europe the most attractive fertile ground for innovation to retain and appeal best talent.

    This agreement revisited the definition of ‘researcher’ and the description of the activities that researchers undertake, ensuring that it encompasses the widest range of career options. In addition, it also raises the importance of the research manager profession and its key role in high levels of research and innovation performance.

    The recommendation specifically aimed at:

    1. Improving researchers’ overall working conditions and environment, ensuring a work-life balance, and countering precarity.

    2. Promoting adequate social protection measures, with a particular focus on early-career researchers

    3. Fostering inter-sectoral mobility and a real flow of talents among sectors by equipping researchers with transversal skills, in addition to strong research skills and contributing to addressing the market demand for highly-skilled talents

    4. Addressing persisting inequalities in research careers (e.g. based on gender, age, ethnicity, national or social origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, language, disability, political opinion, social or economic condition) and market challenges (e.g. lack of intersectoral mobility opportunities)

    The recommendation also revised the “European Charter for Researchers” and the “Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers”, dating back to 2005, and encouraged all organizations employing or providing funding for researchers to endorse the new “European Charter for Researchers” thereby introduced.

    Researchers have always been the core of the EU's research and innovation system, and the “European Charter for Researchers” and the “Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers” have provided a measure of support for researchers and research careers in the EU since the inception of the European Research Area 

    (ERA). However, there are still many impediments to the further development of researchers, such as the persistent instability of their working conditions and salaries due to unstable sources of research funding, and the lack of progress in supporting activities outside academia. In addition, the asymmetric mobility of researchers and persisting gender inequalities also require more targeted and effective measures.

    The agreement recommended EU countries maintain a high level of recognition of research careers in order to promote the equal development of different research work and support an open and transparent recruitment system to combat instability and inequality. Meanwhile, in terms of career development for researchers, the agreement recommended EU countries encouraged interdisciplinary cooperation to promote inter-industry talent mobility and also trained researchers to be innovative and entrepreneurial outside of academia.

  • Partners

  • Global Health Innovation Center (GHIC)
  • World Intelligent Incubation Network (WIIN)
  • National University of Singapore
  • Canada-China Institute For Business & Development
  • TusPark Research Institute for Innovation
  • Cross-strait Tsinghua Research Institute
  • Tsinghua X-Lab

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