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How should the EU support research in science & technology?
Joint meeting of Science & Economics Groups
Chaired by Rodney Tye
(Commissioner responsible for science & research, nominated by Slovenia)
6 October 2005
The speaker was introduced by Graham Watson, one of the MEPs for the South West Region & Gibraltar (also leader of the Alliance of Liberals & Democrats within the European Parliament)
In his opening, Mr Potočnik concentrated on his specialist duties and particularly in the field of research. He realised that the level of the total EU budget would affect the amount available for research. Although much valuable research was conducted and financed in the private sector, he stressed (in his view) that there were numerous areas of essential research, which would only get carried out within public sector funding.
Responding to questions, the Commissioner considered that the Draft Constitution for the EU was a valuable document, even though it had been rejected in a referendum in Holland then in France. He pointed out that 80% of the content was consolidation of earlier EU treaties.
Mr Potočnik’s earlier career had been as an academic in Llubijana, Slovenia. His style of presentation much impressed the considerable number present.