Correspondent's Choice

This story about innovation as a Belgian presidency focus was published by EurActiv on 22nd June 2010.

The incoming Belgian EU Presidency plans to devote the autumn European summit to innovation policy, but a long-awaited report by President Van Rompuy on economic governance is set to overshadow long-term strategies.

EU leaders are due to debate a new ‘Research and Innovation Plan’ when they meet in Brussels in the autumn, with the focus likely to be on intellectual property, research funding, public procurement and innovation infrastructure.

The final version of the plan is due to be approved at a subsequent summit in December, leaving ample time for national industry and research ministers to flesh out the Commission’s proposal in detail.

It will be the first time an EU summit has been earmarked for innovation policy, but ongoing instability in the euro zone could relegate the issue to the bottom of the agenda – just as the Greek debt crisis took the spotlight off the ‘Europe 2020’ jobs strategy at the Spanish Presidency’s spring summit.

Intensive work on the strategy has been ongoing since Research and Innovation Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn took office in January, with research ministers urging the EU executive to prioritise the question of how innovation is financed.

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  1. Dear Sir, FEANI, the largest professional engineering organisation in Europe covering 31 countries, support totaly and actively the EU2020 strategy which puts Innovation in evidence. Innovation is mainly the competence of engineers. However already to-day, in some countries in Europe there is a huge deficit of engineers. A recent study of the deutsche wirschaft insitute shows that this situation will be getting worse with the engineers which will retire in the comming years and will thus affect other european countries not yet reached by the problem ( and for some, which seems to ignore teh problem comming up). In addition, in all European Countries, the younger generation is less and less attracted by scientific and engineering studies. If nothing is done to reverse the trend, EU2020 will be a flop as it was for the Lisbon strategy. Proposals to improve the situation can be taken from the FEANI website section Events. We would be glad if EurActiv could relay FEANI message and proposals formulated as ” More engineers from Europe” and detailled on our web site. Thank You

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