February, 7, 2020
EaP CSF Position Paper on Research and Innovation
Prepared by: Oleg Shatberashvili (Association European Studies for Innovative Development of Georgia – ESIDG), Volodymyr Nochvai (Civic Union “Center for innovation development”, IMMSP NAS of Ukraine) through consultations with EaP CSF members.
The EaP CSF expresses its concern on the absence of workable national R&I strategies, systematic underfunding and negative trends in national research systems in EaP countries. None of the EaP countries has an effective R&I strategy. None of the EaP countries ensures growth of financial and organisational support for development of R&I sphere. At the same time, the EaP countries have scientific and technological potential, which is not fully used and needs to be expanded. Therefore, a targeted support from the EU side is highly needed to align R&I policy of EaP countries with the EU standards and to ensure practical support of projects from EaP region focused on achieving these high standards. In this regard, EaP CSF Research and Innovation experts see two main areas in which we formulated recommendations and proposals for both European Commission and EaP National governments: 1. Critical need to stop the EaP countries’ national research systems decline and 2. development of national strategies aligned with the EU R&I strategy: integration into European Research Area and joining Open Science Agenda.
The EaP CSF main recommendations to the governments of EaP countries:
- to introduce the R&I policies coordinated with education and economic policies, as well as with measures focused on the good governance (including participation of all ministries in R&I activities) as a clear programme agenda linked to a long-term sustainable and secure development of countries, as well as of the hole region.
- to increase gradually General Expenditures on Research and Development (GERD) to a level corresponding to the EU average of 2% of GDP. The EaP governments’ obligations in this regard must be stated in the EaP post 2020 Roadmap.
- For development and implementation of R&I strategies at national levels it would be helpful to coordinate R&I activities of the EaP Initiative at the intergovernmental level of EaP countries. This would further contribute to alignment of the relevant national strategies to EU’s R&I strategy.
- The ERA integration should become the key driver in R&I policy development activities. National ERA roadmaps should be prepared and agreed with new narrative/paradigm for the ERA 2020-2030.
- Despite the lack of the most basic components in the EaP national R&I systems, the new progressive approaches to R&I, like Open Science Agenda, should receive more attention by the national governments of the EaP countries.
The EaP CSF recommends to the European Commission:
- to ensure in the EaP post 2020 policy a detailed reflection of the EaP governments’ obligations in R&I sphere in the Association Agreement and in bi-lateral documents on cooperation with the EU in R&I sphere
- to introduce more conditionality of the assistance rendered to EaP countries in R&I sphere and monitor tightly the fulfilment of governmental obligations part in the next phase of the EaP Initiative (similarly to that of democracy, good governance, etc. in the current EaP activities)
- to use better the CSF capacity for the monitoring purposes through growing support to CSF organizations working on the R&I policy and governance issues, which will lead to development of strong specialized CSOs in the same way as it is done in the democracy and environment protection spheres.
- To add a monitoring and coordination components of their R&I activities by establishing the EaP R&I regional coordination body. That means providing financial support to it to cover necessary activities: coordination, advocacy, analytical work, and monitoring. The first important result will be the roadmap for future (after 2020) collaboration between EaP countries and EU in the field of R&I.
- Implementation of a research project aimed to identify and study the current pitfalls and mistakes common to the EaP countries’ R&I systems and analyse their causes. It could serve as a solid base for drawing further recommendations and measures applicable to all EaP countries, as well as summarize the EU and EaP countries’ experience in the transformation of their R&I infrastructures, legislations and strategies.
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EaP CSF Position Paper on Research and Innovation, Shatberashvili & Nochvai, 2020