Despite tabling more than 50 points for changes to the text of Research Commissioner Busquin's communication on a 'towards a European Research Area' (ERA), the European Parliament's committee on industry, external trade, research and energy voted in favour of the communication on 8 May. In the paper, which examines ways of organising research better in Europe, Commissioner Busquin expresses particular concern that the average research effort in Europe is only 1.8% of GDP compared to 2.8% in the USA and 2.9% in Japan. The communication calls for better integration of European research as at present most research funding is at national level with the EU's Fifth RTD Framework programme accounting for only 5.4% of funding for research in Europe. While MEPS were broadly in favour of the Commission's position in the Communication, some expressed concern that the focus was weighted too much towards improving research infrastructures rather than on the actual quantity and content of research itself. The Communication now passes to debate by the whole European Parliament at its plenary session in Strasbourg on 24 May 2000.