Commissioners Erkki Liikanen and Philippe Busquin were joined by the chairmen of six major European aerospace companies and representatives for three other commissioners at the inaugural meeting of a new European advisory group, STAR 21, on 6 July. The group was created at the initiative of the aerospace industry. The members, comprising senior representatives from the private sector and the European institutions, will look at ways of modernising or upgrading Europe's political and regulatory framework in order to keep up with rapid economic and technological change in the aerospace industry. 'During the coming months we will try to identify areas where change might be necessary,' said Enterprise and Information society Commissioner, Erkki Liikanen. 'But we are happy to do that for an industry that has so impressively shown its strength and competitiveness on global markets,' he stressed. 'The European aerospace industry's technological achievements and competitive position on the world market are an illustration of the strength of European collaboration in research and development,' added Research Commissioner, Philippe Busquin. 'It is our task at the Commission to see how we can further enhance the science base in Europe and improve the conditions in which the aerospace industry operates,' he said. The group will look at a range of areas, including research structures, environmental challenges, potential constraints on growth, support practices and the functioning of markets. STAR 21 will present its findings to the Commission, the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament in 2002.