European Science and Technology Policy
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European Science and Technology Policy

Towards Integration or Fragmentation?

Edited by Henri Delanghe, Ugur Muldur and Luc Soete

This innovative book focuses on the most important concept underpinning current European Union research policy. It describes the history and concept of the European Research Area (ERA), analyses some of the underlying assumptions, assesses some of its achievements, and takes a brief look at its future.
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Conclusion and Perspectives


Henri Delanghe, Ugur Mulder and Luc Soete After World War II, feelings of comparative international weakness and ‘big science’ scientific needs combined to prompt European national governments to collaborate in the area of science and technology not just to revive researcher and knowledge mobility but also to achieve greater cross-border collaboration among researchers and greater coordination on the research funding and programming sides. Initial efforts focused mainly on the creation of large-scale scientific infrastructures and on the coordinated programming, funding and execution of coal, steel and nuclear research. While the former was pursued mainly through intergovernmental means, the latter was pursued mainly through supranational European Community means. The intergovernmental method seemingly got off to the best start as a number of large-scale pan-European research infrastructures were created in quick succession, a European space programme was launched, and a competitiveness-oriented cross-border collaborative technological research funding scheme was introduced (EUREKA). The Community coal, steel and nuclear research programmes got off to a more modest start. In the early 1970s, a failed attempt was made at Community level to achieve a better governance of the European research landscape through greater research programming and funding collaboration between the Member States without large-scale European intervention when Commissioner Dahrendorf launched the idea of a European scientific area, an idea that, however, did not get implemented. Instead, following a completely different logic, the Community launched its own large-scale industry-oriented research programmes in parallel with those of the Member States and existing intergovernmental schemes in the early 1980s...

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