Thursday 7 October 2010

Europe 2020 strategy: Innovation Union

The seven flagship initiatives promised by the European Commission under the Europe 2020 (EU2020) strategy are Innovation Union, Youth on the move, A digital agenda for Europe, Resource efficient Europe, An industrial policy for the globalisation era, An agenda for new skills and jobs, and a European platform against poverty. See the blog post: Europe 2020 strategy: Barroso’s reform flotilla (flagship initiatives) (20 June 2010).

An overview of the plans for EU and national level action, as well as different Council configurations was offered in the blog entry: Europe 2020 strategy: Flagship initiative Innovation Union (21 June 2010)

Innovation Union launched

Yesterday, 6 October 2010, the Commission launched the flagship initiative Innovation Union. The press release The “Innovation Union” – turning ideas into jobs, green growth and social progress (IP/10/1288) is available in 23 languages.

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for research, innovation and science and Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship, highlight the potential economic growth through research and development (R&D). The press release briefly presents ten key elements of the Innovation Union initiative, and it contains links to other documents.

Turning Europe into a true Innovation Union (MEMO/10/473), available only in English, contains more detailed background information. It offers a link to the Commission’s Innovation Union web page, where you can find links to key documents, including the full text of the communication:

Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative Innovation Union; Brussels, 6.10.2010 COM(2010) 546 final (43 pages)

The communication is accompanied by the Commission staff document SEC(2010) 1161.

It is somewhat ironic that the web page with key Innovation Union documents links to the still un-updated central web page for the Commission’s grand project, the Europe 2020 strategy. So much for the Commission communicating an image as a dynamic actor.

You can look for additional information on the Innovation page of DG Enterprise and Industry.

You can find research findings on the costs of non-innovation on the web page Research – Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH).

Next step

On Tuesday, 12 October 2010, the Competitiveness Council (Internal Market, Industry and Research) will have an exchange of views on the potential of EU research and innovation in the light of the challenges posed by globalisation ("Innovation Union"). This item will also be discussed in the afternoon by ministers for science and research. In addition, the Council is expected to adopt conclusions on the simplification of EU research programmes and on the launching of joint programming initiatives for research related to "agriculture, food security and climate change", "cultural heritage" and "healthy food for healthy life".

Ralf Grahn

P.S. Nowadays it is increasingly hard to find European enterprises, public authorities or interest groups without an active social media presence or a stake in European Union affairs. Politics, policies, economics and law at a EU level are becoming more important in a globalising world, at least if Europe still wants to weigh in.

EU-related blogs are a significant aspect of the emerging European online public space. There are now 671 Euroblogs, or blogs related to European Union (and Council of Europe) affairs, listed on, the multilingual aggregator.

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