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Informal meeting of competitiveness ministers to focus on ways to improve the EU’s crisis preparedness, citizen science and the green hydrogen initiative

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 20.7.2020 10.30
Press release

At the informal meeting of the EU competitiveness ministers on 21 July 2020, ministers responsible for research and innovation will discuss the EU’s ability to use research and innovation as a tool to address the current and future challenges in society. Three EU initiatives proposed by the German Presidency will serve as a basis for these discussions. State Secretary Kimmo Tiilikainen will represent Finland at the meeting on behalf of Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.

EU must improve its crisis preparedness and prepare for new pandemics

Ministers are to discuss the lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis management and means to improve preparedness for new crises. The German Presidency is proposing a joint EU initiative to build resilience and improve technological self-sufficiency.

Finland underlines the importance of discussion regarding the role of research and innovation in reinforcing Europe’s resilience. Achieving these objectives requires more extensive and more systematic research, education and innovation activities, and more efficient use of research results.

EU seeks a leading role in hydrogen research

Other matters to be discussed at the meeting include the Green Hydrogen Initiative. Hydrogen-based solutions in energy production and transport are strategically important for the European industry. The purpose of the discussion is to prepare the groundwork for promoting European hydrogen research and creating an internal market for hydrogen to drive the creation of value chains in the European hydrogen industry.

“Hydrogen and synthetic fuels hold promising potential both in industrial applications and as part of carbon-neutral energy systems. Research and innovation play an important role in the development of these applications and energy systems,” says State Secretary Kimmo Tiilikainen.

Involving EU citizens in scientific work

The ministers will also discuss European actions on citizen science, which include stronger emphasis on science education and competence, and providing citizens an opportunity to participate in the scientific research process and in research theme and research policy formulation. The Commission is prepared to support the dissemination of these practices throughout the European Union.

Nina Alatalo, Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs (EU Affairs), +358 50 431 8015
Timo Haapalehto, Chief Specialist, +358 50 570 0980
Petteri Kauppinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, +358 40 520 0702

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