Exploring the performance gap in EU Framework Programmes between EU13 and EU15 Member States

In-Depth Analysis 17-06-2020

The European Union (EU)'s Research and Innovation Framework Programmes are the largest programmes for international research collaboration worldwide. Repeated reports point to the issue of underperformance in the Framework Programmes by the EU13 Member States - countries that joined the EU in and after 2004 - in comparison with the EU15 Member States - which entered the EU before 2004. This in-depth analysis explores the background of various challenges in research and development of EU13 vs EU15, in order to investigate the gap between these two groups. A set of hypotheses, divided in five domains, are tested empirically. This includes: research and innovation system structure; scientific level of research institutions and quality of proposals; quantity of submitted proposals; level of international collaboration; and other factors related to the Framework Programmes. The weak positions of most EU13 Member States for several of the indicators analysed, show that the field of research in EU13 Member States requires further structural changes. This report is followed by policy options for mitigating the innovation gap in Europe.