Innovation Union (Communication)
According to the Commission, “major societal challenges” (e.g. climate change, energy scarcity and demographic change) can only be overcome through research and innovation. To this end, the Commission intends to improve the framework conditions for research and innovation and to coordinate innovations effectively. In addition to the establishment of a “European Research Area”, it propagates (pre-commercial) public procurement to promote innovations. In order to tackle “grand challenges”, “European Innovation Partnerships” are to be initiated.
Removing regulatory barriers to cross-border research activities through the establishment of a “European Research Area” increases Europe’s potential for innovation. The instrumentalisation of public procurement for the promotion of innovation leads to massive distortion of competition and encourages a subtle form of protectionism. The innovation plans through “European Innovation Partnerships“ that it propagates instead, could be misused for industrial policy purposes and also lead to distortion of competition.