Doc. 8324

10 February 1999

Situation of young researchers in Europe

Motion for a recommendation

presented by Mr Melnikov and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

1.       Science and technology play a major role in the development of modern societies and economies. Most certainly, this trend will remain in the decades to come.

2.       Ensuring recruitment of young people to research and development (R&D) activities will thus be a guarantee for the further development of our European societies.

3.       Studies show that the situation of young researchers is highly unequal throughout Europe. For example, in Finland researchers enjoy high public recognition and living standards which makes scientific careers attractive for the young generation and ensures an active recruitment. Meanwhile, the common trend in many countries of central and eastern Europe seems to be a major decline in R&D spending which discourages young people from entering or remaining in the branch.

4.       International R&D co-operation may to a certain degree help to counter some of the negative effects, by providing young researchers with temporary employment and study opportunities abroad and by attracting foreign investments into the research potential of countries which suffer from a serious lack of domestic sources of funding. Such co-operation can also offer researchers the possibility of doing some of their experimental work in other laboratories, for example as part of network co-operation schemes.

5.       Scientific knowledge is international by nature. This becomes ever more evident as globalisation and European integration develop, and competition in the world market requires the strengthening of Europe’s science and technology base.

6.       Considering the importance for Europe of assuring an attractive situation for its young researchers, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers:

i.       include in its intergovernmental work programme regarding higher education and research, an activity aimed at proposing policy measures for the improvement of the situation and career perspectives for young researchers throughout Europe, thus encouraging the recruitment of young people to the research professions;

ii.       invite the governments of member states, as well as the European Union, and the national agencies concerned with the support of science and technology, working together and through the European Science Foundation:

a. to promote the international R&D co-operation that involves young researchers and to encourage their mobility;

b. to encourage meetings of young researchers with the aim of improving their situation and promoting their common interests.

Signed: 1

Melnikov, Russia, UEL

About, France, LDR

Bartoš, Czech Republic, EDG

Beaufays, Belgium, EPP/CD

Birraux, France, EPP/CD

Brunhart, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD

Einarsson, Sweden, UEL

Fernandez Aguilar, Spain, EPP/CD

Lekberg, Sweden, SOC

Liiv, Estonia, LDR

Lotz, Hungary, LDR

Maass, Germany, EPP/CD

Mateju, Czech Republic, EDG

Naysmith, United Kingdom, SOC

Northesk, United Kingdom, EDG

Ošváth, Slovakia, LDR

Raskinis, Lithuania, EPP/CD

Tiuri, Finland, EDG

Weyts, Belgium, EPP/CD

1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group