Sunday, 11 January 2009

Joint Research Centre of the European Commission: Positive evaluation report - updated

The evaluation report for the work of the Joint Reseach Centre (JRC) of the European Commission has been generally very positive.

For those of you who - like me - are not too familiar with this institution:
"The mission of the JRC is to provide customer-driven scientific and technical support for the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of EU policies. As a service of the European Commission, the JRC functions as a reference centre of science and technology for the Union. Close to the policy-making process, it serves the common interest of the Member States, while being independent of special interests, whether private or national." (Source)
As said above, most of the report notes rather positive developments in the work of the institution. One of the shortcomings noted in the report is, however:
JRC publications hold a wealth of knowledge that should be easily accessible to theexternal public; the only acceptable exception to open publication is an issue of EU or national security. [...] [T]he organisation needs to use the most advanced Knowledge Management facilities.
It is of utmost importance that science financed by public money is also publicly available. I think that this recommendation is therefore of high importance and, although hidden in the midst of 14 pages of the report, should be taken into due account.

The definition of "national" or "EU interest" should also be limited as far as possible when it comes to scientific research financed by Community money. And the organisations should, as recommended, in proper knowledge management systems in order to make the findings easily accessible to the public.

Altogether, the reports reads, as many others, far too general and bureaucratic, but the tone is rather positive and it raises hopes that the Joint Research Centre works properly.

Update (9 February 2009):

The responsible Commissioner has needed one month to realise these news...