Welcome to the CORDIS Web service of the Spanish Council Presidency of the EU (January - June 2010)
Ministry of Science
The six-month period of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) will take part in a new stage for the EU, marked by the new Treaty of Lisbon coming into force in December 2010. This means completion of the cycle of the current Strategy for Growth and Employment. The EU now faces the challenge of defining its future within the new Strategy for 2020, which will enable us to develop a new model of economic and social growth - a strategy for emerging successfully from the economic crisis while, at the same time, providing leadership to deal with the major challenges presented by globalisation.
Europe can only ensure itself of a leading role on the international scene if it acts in a more united and focused way in tackling today's challenges, which include the new sources of energy and climate change, the ageing and associated illnesses of its population, and growing international competition, a consequence of globalisation.
To achieve the necessary unity in action is without any doubt a challenge, but the European Union has been overcoming seemingly unsurmountable barriers ever since its inception. We have made four very important freedoms a reality – the free movement of goods, services, people and capital – all within a Europe of almost 500 million people, with 27 countries, of which 16 share a single currency, already used by more than 300 million people.
The conviction of the Spanish Presidency is that it is time for the European Union to move forward into a new dimension, which is already known as the “fifth freedom”, the free movement of knowledge and talent. In this setting of change and new expectations, Spain is taking on the Presidency with a programme based around two principles – Innovation and Equality. Within this programme, the goal of the Ministry of Science and Innovation is to promote the European Research Area (ERA), consolidating our commitment to the Knowledge Triangle.
It is only by having a common shared space for knowledge - the ERA -, in which scientists and ideas can move freely, that research and innovation will be able to act as engines for economic and social progress over the coming decades. For this reason, they should be at the heart of European Union policies.
The Ministry aims to progress the European project by integrating science and innovation, because we must do it involving science in providing responses to the needs of society, including those who are excluded, helping to eliminate inequalities and acting as a reminder that science and innovation have valuable contributions to make for the present, and are an engine for the future.