Related Theme: Enterprises and Industry

Today, in the 21st century, Europe remains a global scientific powerhouse, while research and innovation (R&I) are vital in meeting contemporary economic, social and environmental challenges. R&I is fundamental to Europe’s recovery from the current economic crisis and progress towards sustainable growth and jobs.

However, despite the quality knowledge Europe continues to produce, it faces important challenges, including an investment gap compared with major rivals like the US and Japan, and competition from emerging powers such as China and Brazil.

In response, the EU and its Member States need not only to pump more resources into research but also to get the most out of the investments they make. This involves enhancing crossborder collaboration, improving the mobility of knowledge, resources and researchers, and overcoming fragmentation.

R&I is vital to the Union’s strategic vision for the current decade, as reflected in the Europe 2020 strategy, which seeks to transform the EU into a true Innovation Union (IU) that can turn ideas into quality jobs, green growth and social progress.

The EESC on innovation

The EESC recognises the importance of research and innovation for the EU’s future prosperity, competitiveness and sustainability. That is why the topic has been high on its agenda for years.


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  • Published In: 2015
    54 pages
    Study on the key factors affecting the future growth of Europe

    "Achieving sustainable growth in a competitive world is challenging. The challenge is even greater for the European Union, as the Old Continent faces a severe competitiveness deficit.  Without entering into a health review, that could be delivered at a further stage, of each of the 28 Member States, the ambition of this study is to draw-up a comprehensive picture of EU economic growth.

  • Published In: 2015
    4 pages
    Industrial competitiveness: how to respond to innovation challenges

    The business sector in Europe believes it is time to redefine EU priorities, by putting competitiveness first, implementing the better regulation agenda and offering better support for innovation. To improve the environment for investments in innovation and to address issues underpinning it, an appropriate framework must be put in place.


    This document is a summary of the discussion on "Industrial competitiveness: how to respond to innovation challenges, " which took place in Vilnius, Lithuania, on 15 June 2015. The meeting was organised together with the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists.



  • Published In: 2015
    4 pages
    Innovation across Europe - best practices

    Europe is lagging behind other global players in terms of research and development (R&D). The business sector in Europe believes that if the EU is to become more competitive globally, more focus needs to be put on innovation. Greater clarity is needed in setting priorities. The most serious problem is that despite funds being allocated to basic research, the results of the research process do not make it to the market. Research and new technologies exist, but there are obstacles preventing them from being brought to customers.

    This document is a summary of the discussion on Innovation across Europe – best practices, which took place in Oeiras, Portugal, on 5 June 2015. The meeting was organised together with the Portuguese Confederation of Employers.



  • Published In: 2014
    4 pages
    Boosting industrial policy, growth and competitiveness in Europe

    Summary of the discussion during the extraordinary meeting of the Employers' Group. The discussion on boosting industry and competitiveness in Europe took place during the Extraordinary Meeting of the Employers’ Group in Brussels, Belgium on 13th November 2013. The discussion on re-industrialisation of Europe took place during the panel organised by the Employers’ Group in the framework of the European Forum for New Ideas on 26th September 2013 in Sopot, Poland.

  • Published In: 2013
    2 pages
    Research and Innovation in the EU - EESC Position Paper
    "We believe that the free movement of researchers, scientific knowledge and technology must become the internal market’s ‘fifth freedom’ in addition to people, goods, capital and services." Daniela Rondinelli, rapporteur,EESC opinion on a partnership for excellence and growth in the European Research Area
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