The European Research Area (ERA) was set up to boost EU coordination and competitiveness in medical, environmental and other types of research. This initiative consists of a communication relaunching and revitalising the ERA in order to (1) make it future-proof; (2) make it better able to address the major challenges of the digital and green transition; and (3) increase Europe’s resilience following the Covid-19 crisis.
The ERA 2015-2020 Roadmap raised the importance of “jointly addressing grand challenges.” The gravity of these challenges, like climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk of digital divides and growing levels of socio-economic – and closely related – health inequalities have in recent years and months become all the more apparent. The EU must act as a role model globally of how democratic societies can work together to overcome these challenges and achieve ecological, social and economic transition; this hinges on bringing together Europe’s best researchers to design, develop and test new approaches. EuroHealthNet strongly supports efforts to bolster progress towards an ERA that helps meet those needs. COVID-19 has demonstrated all too clearly the central role that public health plays in our societies, and of how economic growth depends on good health and wellbeing. The ERA should therefore also include and coordinate research in the area of public health, prevention and health promotion as a crucial factor in and indicator of the effectiveness of measures to transition to more sustainable and inclusive societies.
Read our full response here.