​​Idris Abdelkhalek

Traineeship ​from 01 February to 31 July 2015.

​At the time of his entry, Idris Abdelkhalek had just completed his Master of Law at the University of Berne. During his traineeship, he focused on a project related to the implementation of the European Research Area. Additionally, he supported the team in its operational tasks. The executive summary of his project can be found hereunder.​

Maintain position of Swiss science in European Research Area

The European Research Area (ERA) is not a new idea. It roots back to the seventies when discussions towards a truly European research policy where taking place and led to the creation, among others, of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST), the Scientific and Technical Research Committee (CREST) and the European Science Foundation (ESF). Since the beginning, Switzerland was an integral part of these initiatives due to the excellence and the European commitment of its science base.


The political importance of ERA got new impetus with the 2000 Lisbon European Council, which aimed at making the European Community the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010. This resulted in the inclusion of ERA in the Lisbon Treaty in 2007 providing for the first time a legal definition basis for the ERA with essential consequences for Europe and Switzerland. For the first time in European history, the European Commission (EC) got the power to put forward binding legislation on ERA. However, due to strong resistance of several Member States (MS) and in accordance with the shared legal competence in research, the EC opted in 2012 for a partnership approach with the main European research stakeholder organisations (SHO) and the MS. Countries associated to the European research and innovation Framework Programmes (FP) such as Switzerland, were also invited to contribute to the partnership as the FP are defined as the main vehicle for implementing ERA.

Idris' report provides an analysis of ERA from legal and political point of view with a focus on the governance of ERA and proposes several policy options which would help Swiss science in maintaining its position in ERA. The report identifies challenges and actions that ought to be taken by Swiss science stakeholders at the level of the EU, the member states and European SHO.


see complete report