European integration has been marked by the major issues and objectives which it has itself enunciated. These include the debate over federalism versus nation-state sovereignty; the debate over politics versus economics; the importance of the Franco-German motor, of peacekeeping, and how to maintain economic prosperity, among others.
A common market and a common currency have made of Europe a world-competitive economic zone. Today, the integration of a common European area for knowledge, science, and innovation represents the next vital step in the construction of a political Union.
The scientific community is already doing its share to build a European research area by setting up pan-European cooperative research organisations, developing European scientific associations, and participating in European programs of technological research and development.
This issue of CNRS Thema is a tour of Europe in 100 pages. It travels beyond the boundaries of EU member states while spanning three axes of investigation: Europe as a Research Area, Research in Europe, Research on Europe.
The section "Europe as a Research Area" takes a broad look at the initiatives and measures being taken by governments, institutions, or research organisations.
The section "Research in Europe" reveals the involvement of research scientists in the "European machine" through concrete examples taken from the scientific departments of the CNRS. Its subject is "in vivo" science at the European level, where France plays a leading role.
The section "Research on Europe" gives researchers from the social sciences the opportunity to put European integration under the microscope. Legal scholars, economists, sociologists, political scientists, philosophers, historians, linguists and other experts analyse the complex European Union edifice while not neglecting to take into account the other countries making up Europe.
European integration has been widening steadily since it began in 1951, and the year 2004 mark the entry of ten new member states into the European Union.
Europe as a common area for knowledge is also continually growing wider and richer, as a number of articles in this issue demonstrate. Our hope must lie in the ability of an integrated European research area to work with the political and social forces of Europe to address the many pressing questions facing European integration all levels, national, European, and international.
Mireille Vuillaume This issue was conceived, coordinated, and produced by the editorial staff of CNRS Thema, who would like to thank in particular the following individuals:
Monika Dietl and Clarissa Amilhat, for their warm welcome in Brussels
Anne d'Albis and Claude-Isabelle Chauvel, for their help and encouragement
Joëlle Busuttil, Frédérique Bessin and Delphine Maria, for their support
Marie Auffray, Jean-Louis Buscaylet, Bernard Colombat, Stéphanie Lecocq and Laura Slawig, for their participation in this issue.
This issue was conceived, coordinated, and produced by the editorial staff of CNRS Thema, who would like to thank in particular the following individuals: