In March 2005, the European Commission adopted a recommendation on the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.
The document, which includes 13 suggestions for EU member states, highlights some strategic problems regarding community research policy. Specifically, it refers to aspects as sensitive as recognition of the research career, working conditions, problems that hamper the mobility of research staff and the harmonization of assessment systems, among others.
Since the beginning of the century, we have witnessed the implementation of ambitious R&D strategies, such as the Lisbon Declaration and the more recent Horizon 2020, as well as major international convergence projects such as the European Higher Education Area and the European Research Area.
Whilst all this was happening, tens of thousands of university students throughout Europe were beginning their research careers with the hope of making science and technology their way of life, as well as the reasonable doubt of whether they would be able to direct their work towards the public and private organizations that generate and develop knowledge.
Today, more than ever, consensus is needed on standards, common criteria, and conventions that make a research career in Europe attractive, eliminate barriers, and lessen regulatory obstacles. For this reason, we accept the international commitment to promote vocations, foster mobility, establish recognizable and recognized working conditions, and guarantee the fairness of assessment processes.
To achieve this, it is important that employers of researchers support initiatives such as the European Charter for the Researcher and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, which have already been ratified by numerous international organizations. In Spain, 72 entities have signed to date, including research centers, technology centers, foundations, institutes and universities. This may seem like a small number, but it is above the figure for Italy (65) and well above that of France (38), the United Kingdom (16) and Germany (11).
The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya’s Technology Center (CIT UPC) has also joined this initiative, which is a clear commitment to the future.