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Regions call for skills focus

The next EU research programme should make skills and lifelong learning a major funding focus, the Committee of the Regions has said.

The committee, which brings together elected regional representatives in the EU, published a draft opinion paper on Framework 9 on 12 June. It called for the European Commission to create two new focuses for the collaborative Societal Challenges pillar of the programme, covering skills and place-based innovation.

Horizon 2020’s Societal Challenges should be “transformed to enhance their relevance and impact”, the committee said. One priority should help to tackle skills shortages in Europe’s labour force, while the second should look at the role of location in linking innovation, employment and sustainable growth, it said.

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