The European economic and social committee (CES) has welcomed the initiative of a European Research Area proposed by EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. It did, however, ringfence certain areas in its recommendations. For example, the proposed centre for excellence should only be for a limited number of initiatives and for a set period of time, it claimed. In addition, projects should only be for those fields where a critical mass cannot be achieved in a single Member State. Other key features suggested by CES are that the relevant scientific organisations should be consulted throughout the process, the measures should be simple, and mobility of research personnel should be assured. These measures should encourage the development of innovation within small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Finally, the CES recommended that, if possible, those involved with these decisions within the Commission should in future be recognisable and highly qualified scientists.