The European Commission (EC), together with the Member States, co-designs the European Union's (EU) research and innovation policies and programmes and proposes policy developments for their proper implementation. These research policies and programmes are subject to approval by the Competitiveness Council (COMPET), which is the EU's highest decision-making body in this field.
The co-design process is conducted through the various committees and advisory and consultative bodies of the Commission and the European Council, among which the Strategic Shaping Programme Committee plays a particularly important role as the body responsible for the participation of the Member States in the design and monitoring of the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
The European Research Area Committee (ERAC) is the consultative body that advises the Council, the European Commission and the Member States on the development of research and innovation policies within the European Research Area (ERA). It is co-chaired by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research, Innovation and Technological Development and representatives from the Member States. Between 2014 and 2020, the ERAC focused its efforts on fostering international collaboration, open science and innovation, joint programming, gender mainstreaming in research and human resources and their mobility. This committee is currently in the process of adapting to the new ERA plan introduced by the European Commission.
The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) is one of the EU's strategic instruments for developing scientific integration in the EU and strengthening its international outreach. It contributes significantly to the development of research policies with specific recommendations for the strengthening of European research infrastructures and competitive and open access to resources and services.