Speech by Dainius Pavalkis, Minister of Education, at the European Parliament, Industry, Research and Energy Committee

09 July 2013, Last updated at, 16:18 EET
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Dainius Pavalkis | author: eu2013

Thank you, Madam Chair, Honourable Members,

It is a particular honour for me to be given this opportunity to address your Committee on the research priorities of the Lithuanian Presidency. I hope to use the occasion to hear your views and comments so that we can establish close dialogue and cooperation.

We are meeting here with you today two weeks after a very important inter-institutional agreement in principle on Horizon 2020 programme was reached.

I know you agree that the Horizon 2020 framework programme is a very important instrument for promoting EU economic growth and attracting more researchers and innovative businesses.
It is indeed an essential step forward in making Europe more competitive.

I would like to thank your Committee members for their active role in the negotiations held so far on Horizon 2020 programme. I look forward to continuing the close collaboration with ITRE committee while finalizing this process.

I would also like to congratulate the Irish Presidency for the huge job that they’ve done during their term. Lithuania will continue reaching the objectives that we’ve commonly agreed upon with Ireland and Greece in our trio programme.

During the Lithuanian presidency, we will seek to ensure the conduct of legislative business, and we commit ourselves to being an honest and impartial broker.

I am very well aware of the important position that the European Parliament has in the decision-making process. That is why I undertake to seek a constructive, efficient, and mutually beneficial collaboration with you in this Committee as we take forward our work for the citizens of Europe.

This year being the Year of the European Citizen, I feel it more important than ever that we both – Parliament and Council - redouble our efforts to deliver the results that our citizen expect and deserve. And they deserve better life.

During the preparations for the Presidency, I had an opportunity to meet with the Chair of the ITRE committee, Madame Sartori, also with Mr Ehler and several other members of the ITRE committee. In a week's time, I look forward to welcoming a delegation from your committee to Vilnius. All these engagements help to establish a mutual understanding of our shared objectives.

The Lithuanian Presidency’s main priority in the research field will be to work to start of the Horizon 2020 programme in 2014.

After the agreement in principle on the programme`s legislative package was reached, several important steps still need to be taken.

The Presidency will also try to find appropriate solutions for the Euratom programme as well as Europe's contribution to the international ITER fusion project.

The Presidency will also give priority, as appropriate, to legislative actions on initiatives implementing Horizon2020. On some of them, in particular on the public-public partnerships based on the article 185 of the Treaty, we will seek to progress as much as possible, in close collaboration with the European Parliament.

Another issue of importance to all of us is the European Research Area.

In 2012, the European Commission has published a Communication on Reinforced European Research Area Partnership for Excellence and Growth. This year, we expect the Commission releasing the first European Research Area progress report. As soon as it is presented, the Council will have the opportunity to discuss this issue.

Several of ERA related priorities will be discussed during the conferences that we organise as presidency events in Lithuania, such as

  • The conference “Enhancement of European international Cooperation and the Eastern Partnership in Research, Development and Innovation” (30 September–October 1)

and

  • The conference “Human Resources in R&D” (14–15 November) will be devoted to issues of promoting the attractiveness of researchers’ careers.

Other conferences that we organise will cover the following topics -

  • The conference “Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities” (23–24 September) will look at the relationship of Social Sciences and Humanities with other fields of science and science policies, and with Horizon 2020.
  • The European Engineering Industry and Science Forum MANUFUTURE 2013 (6–8 October) will cover aspects of engineering industry within the context of Horizon 2020; particular attention will be paid to European, regional and national measures to increase the efficiency of R & D through their mutual synergies and national and regional smart specialisation of the countries.
  • Joint FISA 2013 and Euradwaste’13 Conference (14–17 October)
  • Vilnius Innovation Forum (4–6 December 2013).

During our Presidency we will to hold two meetings of the Competitiveness Council on 26-27 of September and 2-3 of December. There will be also an informal meeting of ministers organised in Vilnius at the end of July (22-24). The meeting will be dedicated to discussing the skills required in Europe in order to be able to better serve the needs in the field of science and innovation.

Madam Sartori, Honourable Members,
As we are all aware, the present cycle of legislation is coming to an end. So we acknowledge our common will successfully finalise the negotiations on as many legislative files as possible. We are committed to intensively collaborate with our partners co-legislators of the European Parliament, ITRE committee, where research files are concerned.

At the start of our Presidency I look forward to our fruitful cooperation with you in the second half of the year. Your visit to Vilnius next week will be a further opportunity to continue our today’s discussion.

Thank you very much for your kind attention. I am happy now to take your questions.

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