Prague, 23 July 2022 (TDI): The informal meeting of the EU Competitiveness Council took place on Friday. The EU states ministers’ responsible for the research agenda participated in the meeting.

Vladimir Balas, Minister of the Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic chaired the meeting. The main topic of the meeting was the discussion on the use of synergies between the EU and programs to promote research and innovation in Europe.

The ministers discussed the possibilities of utilizing the potential of synergies effectively (to combine financial resources while investing in research and innovation in a way that their overlaps do not occur).

Furthermore, the meeting participants also discussed the Russian invasion’s impact on Ukraine. They exchanged views on how to streamline assistance to the scientific community in Ukraine.

Their discussion also focused on measures to take to rebuild research infrastructure in Ukraine and assist Ukrainian academics and researchers after the Russian invasion.

Vladimir Balas, at the end of the discussion, said, “I firmly believe and hope that the measures taken will help to involve and integrate Ukrainian scientists into the European Research Area, as well as our society, and their talent will be further developed for the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine.

Moreover, Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth, in a tweet, thanked Research Ministers for their support in all the discussions held in the meeting.

Remarks by the European Commissioner 

Mariya Gabriel said, “I welcome the debate on synergies that will make it possible to make better use of the links between different funding instruments and to mobilize investment in research and innovation across the Union.

It is a way to strengthen our European Research Area and improve access to excellence. We need stronger innovation ecosystems across the EU to achieve green and digital transformation and strengthen our strategic autonomy through them.

The exchange of views with EU ministers on the impact of the war in Ukraine on our academic and research community was also important.

We have decided to use our Horizon Europe and ERASMUS+ resources to provide concrete support to researchers and I am very pleased that our institutions have shown extraordinary resilience and solidarity.”