At a meeting of the Competitiveness Council in Brussels on 10 November, EU research, internal market and industry ministers adopted a resolution on the profession and the career of researchers within the European Research Area (ERA). The resolution reaffirms the key role played by researchers in promoting European growth and competitiveness, and recognises that further improvements are needed in order to create a true internal employment market for researchers in the EU. To this end, the Council calls on Member States and the Commission to undertake actions, on a voluntary basis, to improve employment and career prospects for researchers. Such measures include exchanging good practice with regard to evaluation and appraisal systems for careers in research, encouraging social dialogue to improve public awareness of scientific careers, and removing the remaining obstacles to a career in research. Initiatives should be developed in such a way as to promote equal opportunities for men and women, the resolution adds. The Council also endorses Commission plans to develop a 'European Researcher's Charter' and a code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers, as well as launching a European Year of Researchers in order to strengthen public recognition of careers in research and development. The Commission is also encouraged to intensify its efforts to improve the operation of the researchers' mobility portal and the European network of mobility centres, and to further monitor career development issues through the collection of data and analysis of needs. Finally, the resolution calls on the Commission to report regularly on the progress of its efforts to improve employment and career prospects for researchers in Europe. Also during the meeting, the Competitiveness Council called on the Committee of Member State permanent representatives to intensify their efforts to reach a political agreement on the proposed Community Patent regulation in time for the Council's next meeting.