Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 237

economy, climate action, improved agriculture,
food security and health.
‘This includes supporting the MDGs and their
possible successors, strengthening demand-
led research and innovation for development,
and delivery of the outcome of the
Rio+20 conference, e.g. through the transfer
of climate technologies.’
Brussels has worked closely with South Africa,
amongst other countries outside Europe, to help
accomplish the MDGs, and the Union is now
the largest aid donor in the world, contributing
55% of all official development assistance –
further proof of its specific commitment to
achieving the goals.
De-siloing
Costello went on to describe how, under the
leadership of European Commission President
Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU appears to be
breaking down traditional European policy silos.
“The whole issue around collaboration … is
hugely important, but it is equally important that
there is collaboration within the European space
as well, and … very often within Europe, there
is a kind of silo mentality and people work in their
sections and they work in their silos.
“The new Juncker Commission has a cluster
approach to try and break down these silos,
and whilst that is good on the one hand, one of
the challenges we are going to be faced with
… in the development portfolio is Europe as a
global actor, but research and development has
not been included in that cluster.
“Does it mean that these clusters are going to
be alternative silos to the silos that we have had
from the different directorates-general, or will
it be that there will be collaboration at the level
of these vice-presidents that will be able to
overcome that? What is not clear at the
moment is whether these clusters are an
opportunity or a challenge, and that is
something that we need to look at.”
The world has made significant progress
towards achieving the MDGs. In determining
their replacement, further emphasis on
international co-operation, including in R&D, will
be key to fully alleviating global poverty.
Emer Costello
Former MEP & Lord Mayor of Dublin
B R OW S E
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S P E C I A L F E AT U R E : E U R O P E & A F R I C A
Joining forces
A practical policy initiative that demonstrates
the EU’s commitment to achieving the MDGs
is the European & Developing Countries
Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP). The joint
programme with EU member states
specifically targets infectious diseases in
developing countries and has been renewed
under Horizon 2020.
In 2010, the European Parliament passed a resolution on the progress
towards the achievement of the MDGs. The resolution, noted in
EDCTP2 legislation, sees MEPs ask the European Commission, EU
member states and developing countries to address three of the
MDGs, namely reducing child mortality, improving maternal health,
and combatting HIV/ AIDS, malaria and other diseases ‘in a coherent
and holistic way’.
EDCTP2 benefits from a fresh budget of €2bn between 2014 and
2024. The Commission is committing €683m to the public-public
partnership through Horizon 2020, in addition to funding worth €1.5bn
from the 13 European countries involved.
In December, European Commissioner for Research, Science and
Innovation Carlos Moedas (pictured) travelled to Cape Town in South
Africa to launch EDCTP2. The Commission is heralding the joint
programme as marking a new era of co-operation between Europe
and Africa in medical research, with countries from both continents
working as equal partners.
Speaking in Cape Town, Moedas said: “Infectious diseases like AIDS,
Ebola or malaria are a major global threat, but they hit poor
communities hardest. The latest Ebola outbreak reminds us that more
research is needed to find new medicines and vaccines that will help
save millions of lives. Today, Europe and Africa are stepping up their
efforts to fight the spread of infectious diseases together. With the
investment … from Horizon 2020, the EU will boost research efforts
to prevent new epidemics in the future.”
In addition to tackling HIV/ AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, EDCTP2 is
also assisting the trial of new vaccines and drugs against other
poverty-related and neglected infectious diseases.
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