The External Dimension of the European Research Area
Edited by Heiko Prange-Gstöhl
Chapter 9: The Added Value of International S & T Policy Coordination
9. The added value of international S&T policy coordination1 Colin Shaw INTRODUCTION The European Union’s (EU) aspiration to foster and promote international cooperation and coordination of scientific research is a laudable and, it could be argued, rather ‘obvious’ goal. The orchestrated pursuit of valuable knowledge is a natural ambition for any political regime; it is a presumed objective that may, like many lofty aspirations, remain a simple declaration of intent that does not materialize into concrete action. The EU’s ‘constitutional treaty’ made early mention of such a goal and ‘big European science’ in the guise of the production of nuclear energy, nuclear physics and, to a lesser extent, aero-space has been a prominent feature of the wider economic and social integration that characterizes the EU. However, it cannot be stated confidently that the EU, and the communities that comprise it, is a genuine ‘community of science’. Broadly speaking, the integration of the scientific ‘furniture’ that makes up European science (including research institutions, funding organizations and scientists themselves) has lagged behind other areas of integration and the political declarations of successive Treaties, Commissions and national actors have failed to reorganize national systems according to a higher European plan. Addressing, as this volume does, the salience of, and opportunities presented by, cooperation in research carried out beyond the boundaries of the EU, it is important to take stock of the experience of internal (intra-EU) cooperation and coordination in science. The difficulties such endeavours meet at a national level are very often...
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