Towards the recovery of EuropeComisión de Política y Diplomacia Científica de CEBE; CEBE Science Policy and Diplomacy Committee · 14-01-2021 10:00 · Science Chronicles
The cycle of three online seminars "Towards the recovery of Europe: innovation, employment and mobility", organized by the association of Spanish Scientists in Belgium (CEBE) in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Social Security of the Embassy of Spain in Belgium and sponsored by the Ramón Areces Foundation, has brought together nine experts representing different institutions at the European level (European Commision, EURES, REPER), national (CSIC) and local (INJUVE Aragón) who provided relevant information on the tools, programs and opportunities for R&D, employment and mobility in the context of the Recovery Plan for Europe.
But… what is the Recovery Plan for Europe?
The Recovery Plan for Europe is the common response to the health and social crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic (SARS-CoV-2) coordinated by the European Commission. The measures that make up this Plan are intended to help EU Member States in the coordination of their national responses and aim to strengthen public health systems and mitigate the socio-economic impact of the pandemic in the European Union.
The Recovery Plan for Europe focuses on three main objectives or "pillars" 1) support Member States to recover and emerge stronger from the crisis; 2) reactivate the economy and promote private investment; 3) learn lessons from the crisis and address Europe's strategic challenges including but not limited to climate change, digitization, and structural changes to strengthen the euro zone.
This new stage for Europe began at the beginning of the pandemic and will deal with the consolidation of a modern and more sustainable Europe. The EU's long-term budget will be the largest stimulus package ever funded through the EU budget. It will help rebuild post-COVID-19 Europe that will be greener, more digital and more resilient.
On November 10, 2020, an agreement was reached between the European Parliament and the EU countries in the Council on the next long-term EU budget and NextGenerationEU. This agreement will allow the strengthening of specific programs from the long-term budget for the period 2021-2027 for a total of 15 billion euros. More than 50% of the amount will support modernization through research and innovation, via Horizon Europe. Climate and digital transitions will be supported through the Just Transition Fund and the Digital Europe program. European recovery and resilience through the Recovery and Resilience Fund, rescEU, and a new health program, EU4Health.
Traditional policies, such as cohesion and the common agricultural policy, will continue to receive significant financial support to ensure stability and modernization. 30% of EU funds will go to adaptation/mitigation of climate change with the highest percentage of the European budget ever allocated. The package also pays special attention to the protection of biodiversity and gender equality.
Given the broad content of this Plan, it was decided to structure the content of the online seminar in three thematic blocks that addressed: the Recovery Plan for Europe from the point of view of Science and Innovation, as the central and strategic axis for the recovery of the Member States (webinar 1); the role of industry, industrial clusters and industrial ecosystems in recovery (webinar 2), and what tools and programs we have at our disposal to improve employment and mobility in the current situation of the pandemic (webinar 3).
Ms. Concha Gutiérrez del Castillo (Counsellor for Employment, Migration & Social Security, at the Embassy of Spain in the Kingdom of Belgium) gave the closing remarks. She reflected on the need for this cycle of online seminars, and highlighted the leading role that Spain will have in adopting measures and actions at national and European level, and to emerge stronger as a country in the face of the current health and social crisis.
Europe faces not only the recovery from the pandemic, but also faces global challenges framed in seven main lines of action: clean energy; rehabilitation of buildings; sustainable transport; broadband for everyone; modernize public administrations, including health and judicial; data industry, and adaptation of educational systems to the digital age.
CEBE supports Science, Research, Innovation and Technology as sources of investment. Innovation through science, technology will transform productivity and industry, which will have a positive impact on employment growth and competitiveness of a country.
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