Towards one system? The european research area initiative, the integration of research systems and the changing leeway of national policies
This article speculates about the integration of European research systems triggered by the ERA initiative of the European Commission. Its main argument is that integration of research systems in Europe is driven by political, economic, social dynamics at various levels and takes place within and outside this formal system of the EU. These complex developments are interdependent. There are strong hints that individual actors and stakeholder groups shift their attitudes and their reference level of expectation, adjust their definition of interest and their behaviour according to the new opportunities defined at the new - the European - level. As in this double dynamic the oligopolistic, inter-national power structures soften and increasingly develop into a more complex web of governance structures, the role of national policy-makers changes. How they define their new role will depend on their ability and openness to actively shape the integration process.