This report presents the EaP CSF’s view of R&D development processes in the EaP countries, formed as a result of research carried out by a group of scientists – CS representatives – within the framework of a project supported by the EaP CSF Secretariat. Financial support was provided by the EC and the National Endowment for Democracy (USA).
The political framework for the convergence of the national R&D systems of the EaP countries with the EU research system (European Research Area – ERA, 2000) is provided for by the Eastern Partnership Initiative (2008). It is seen as one of the directions of European integration of EaP countries. RDI activities are included in the Deliverables 2020 (EaP, 2017) of the EaP Initiative.
It should be noted that 4 out of 6 EaP countries are now fully associated to Horizon 2020 (Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia). Those associations obviously translate the fact that framework conditions are in place for alignment of those four countries with the ERA.
As a result of association, several countries adopted specific Action Plans/Roadmaps for integration into ERA.
Particular attention is paid to integration into the ERA in the annual Action Plans of Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, which have signed Association Agreements (2014) with the EU. In this regard, the EC at the request of the governments of the partner countries in 2018-2019 carried out an assessment of the R&D and R&D&I systems in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine using a special tool called the Policy Support Facility (PSF), that gives Member States and countries associated to Horizon 2020 practical support to design, implement and evaluate reforms that enhance the quality of their research and innovation investments, policies and systems. The PSF missions’ reports for these countries were the starting point for our study. The main feature (distinguishing feature) of our work is that we study the EaP region as a whole, i.e. we compare conventional and non-conventional indicators of the state of national R&D systems and identify trends that characterize the region as a whole.
The overall aim of the work consists in providing evidence for the EU policy concerning R&I collaboration with the EaP region as a whole, as well as to formulate conclusions based on which the EaP countries could formulate their priorities for the integration/approximation to ERA.