Innovation at the top of the EU’s agenda and a highlight in the Subcommittees I-IV meeting

Published 13-10-2010
Less than a week after its adoption, the Commission presented the “Innovation Union” in the meeting of Subcommittees I-IV on 12 October 2010. As one of the seven flagship initiatives in the Europe 2020 Strategy, the Chair announced that the EEA EFTA States would follow the "Innovation Union" with great interest.

Ms Eva Camerer, Norwegian National Expert in the Policy Development for Industrial Innovation Unit at the Commission, stated that there is an innovation emergency in Europe and that the Innovation Union is a key to achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. It aims to provide conditions and access to finance for research and innovation in Europe, and to ensure that innovative ideas can be turned into products and services that create growth and jobs. This is the first time the Commission has presented a comprehensive innovation strategy from research to retail with concrete and measurable actions.

Looking ahead, decision-shaping issues were of particular interest at the Subcommittees I-IV meeting. The Secretariat presented the delegations with the latest updates on important acquis currently at the pre-pipeline and pipeline stage in the EU. Among these were the proposal for a regulation on the security of gas supply, a proposal for a directive establishing a single European railway area, a green paper on the future of European pension systems and the upcoming European Year of Active Ageing in 2012. An anticipated Commission proposal on the copyright of orphan works was also presented to the delegations. In relation to this, the EFTA Secretariat recently hosted a Copyright Seminar on the Nordic Model – Extended Collective Agreement, organised in cooperation with the University of Oslo. Gathering key experts, stakeholders and representatives from the Commission and the European Parliament, the seminar created a thriving platform for the exchange of experiences and opinions.

Acquis already adopted by the EU and currently under scrutiny by the EEA EFTA States was given equal attention. The Third Legislative Package for the Internal Energy Market, the Social Security Coordination Package, the revised Telecom Package establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the inclusion of aviation activities in the scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading were dealt with – to name a few.

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