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Research policy should be catalyst for sustainable development, says Busquin

The EU's research policy should act as a lever and a catalyst in the promotion of sustainable development, said Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin, speaking at a briefing on research for sustainable production on 6 July. Over the last year, the European Council has highli...

The EU's research policy should act as a lever and a catalyst in the promotion of sustainable development, said Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin, speaking at a briefing on research for sustainable production on 6 July. Over the last year, the European Council has highlighted two challenges and strategic objectives for Europe: maintaining competitiveness and supporting sustainable development. The European Commission is keen to emphasise that it already has a sustainable development strategy, and has organised a series of four events to demonstrate how its research actions fund and foster sustainable development in the EU. 'This strategy aims to bring all relevant EU policies into line with the three aspects of sustainable development, that is: economic growth, social cohesion and environmental protection, said Commissioner Busquin. Emphasising the importance of innovation in industrial research, the Commissioner said that 'just as industry is the motor of the economy, and without it there would be no growth or sustainable development, innovation and research are absolutely vital in reconciling economic growth and the various criteria for sustainable development.' In addition to acting as a catalyst and a lever, Mr Busquin added that EU research policy must also encourage the integration of research efforts, as 'the future of European industry cannot be prepared without an overall vision'. EU policy should also aim to encourage private investment and reinforce Community policies, for example, the control and prevention of pollution, the European eco-label and the establishment of a legal, regulatory and financial framework favourable to innovation.