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Enhancing Research & Innovation in the South of Europe


20 Feb 2014


Science & Policymaking

Following a public hearing on Horizon 2020 and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), Greek MEP Ioannis A Tsoukalas said: “The EPP Group came up with the initiative of holding this hearing to clarify the prospects of the southern part of Europe to participate more easily, openly and on an equal footing with the other countries of Europe. Southern Europe is a diverse geographic area that shares many common social, economic, educational, climatic, and natural conditions.”

Portuguese MEP Maria da Graça Carvalho added: “The countries in the south of Europe have traditionally had a strong research culture. However, despite possessing some of the best research centres in the world, southern Europe often still has considerable difficulty in developing their research base and converting their results into concrete products and services.”

Tsoukalas continued: “During this hearing, our distinguished speakers explored the new opportunities and tools that Horizon 2020 and the EIT provide to Member States of this area to address significant shortcomings, such as the innovation divide and the difficulties in transforming research results into innovative products and services for the benefit of citizens. The conclusions have been very helpful for the implementation of Horizon 2020 and for enabling the people of Europe to match what Horizon 2020 needs for R&D in Europe.”

“The Southern countries frequently encounter similar types of problems. One of the most frequent complaints is that of excessive bureaucracy. In this respect, I am optimistic that the new Horizon 2020 Programme - for which I was the Rapporteur for the Simplification Report - will allow for simpler access to funding and will be characterised by less red tape in general”, concluded Maria da Graça Carvalho.

The EIT - a body of the European Union based in Budapest - will contribute strongly to the objectives set out in Horizon 2020, in particular by addressing societal challenges in a complementary way to other initiatives in these areas. Horizon 2020 is a key pillar of the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at enhancing Europe's global competitiveness.

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 274 Members from 27 Member States.
MEP Contacts
BRU - Tel: +32 (0)2 2845295 Fax: +32 (0)2 2849295
STR - Tel: +33 (0)3 88 175295 Fax: +33 (0)3 88 179295
Maria Da Graça CARVALHO
BRU - Tel: +32 (0)2 2845776 Fax: +32 (0)2 2849776
STR - Tel: +33 (0)3 88 175776 Fax: +33 (0)3 88 179776
Press Contacts
Theodoros Georgitsopoulos
Phone: +32 475 75 05 66
Francisco Correia Da Silva
Phone: +32 470 83 05 67


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