NordForsk, the Nordic Council of Ministers' institution for research funding, was one of several European stakeholders that signed a statement which aims to improve co-ordination between the research institutions in the EU and to harmonise the EU's research policy.
NordForsk signed the statement with EARTO (European Association of Research and Technology Organisation), EUA (European University Association), and LERU (League of European Research Universities) in Brussels in July.
The agreement is an important step in the EU's aim to increase effectiveness and optimise research in the European Research Area ERA.
In the clarifying document "Memorandum of Understanding between the European Commission and NordForsk" NordForsk commits to adapt to the EU's open labour market for career researchers, improve the mobility of researchers in Europe, strengthen efforts in intergovernmental thematic research programmes and implement a strategy for free access to scientific information across national borders. NordForsk intends to implement these measures by 2013.
Co-operation with the EU is a priority area in the Nordic Ministers' of Education's common strategy for education and research 2011-2013.
The EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, called the signing of this agreement a milestone and underlined that closer co-operation and monitoring progress will be necessary to guarantee the success of the initiative.