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Legal framework for a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC)

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Legal framework for a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC)

This regulation sets out a new legal structure for joint research facilities of European interest. It enables EU countries and countries associated with the EU research framework programme (Horizon 2020) to create and operate these facilities. This structure thus fills a legal void which had previously existed and allows complex, often very costly, projects to be jointly undertaken.

ACT

Council Regulation (EC) No 723/2009 of 25 June 2009 on the Community legal framework for a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC).

SUMMARY

This Regulation establishes a single legal base aimed at facilitating the creation and operation of a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) by EU countries, with the possible participation of countries associated with research framework programmes of the EU, of other countries and of specialist intergovernmental agencies. EU countries and associated countries are responsible for the design of infrastructure projects and for defining the main aspects such as statutes, statutory seat, etc.

Contrary to the Joint Technology Initiative Joint Undertakings (JTI JUs) in which the EU systematically participates as a member, an ERIC is a legal entity of which the EU is not necessarily a member.

This legal framework applies to infrastructures of pan-European interest.

Research infrastructures created as ERICs under this regulation must respect the following conditions:

  • carry out European research activities;
  • represent added value in the scientific and technological fields at the European and international level;
  • be accessible to researchers from EU countries and countries associated to the EU Research and Development Framework Programme (Horizon 2020);
  • promote the mobility of researchers and the exchange of knowledge within the European Research Area (ERA);
  • participate in the dissemination and optimisation of the results of research activities.

The activities of the ERIC are, in principle, non-profit-making. However, an ERIC may carry out some limited economic activities as long they are closely related to its principal task and they do not impede the main aim of the research infrastructure.

Applications for the setting up of an ERIC must be submitted to the Commission for assessment.

The application pack must include:

  • a request to the Commission to set up the ERIC;
  • the proposed Statutes (a list of members, statutory seat, name of the ERIC, rights and obligations of the members, bodies of the ERIC with their competences and the manner in which they are constituted and in which they decide, duration of the ERIC, basic principles, identification of the working language, references to rules implementing the Statutes);
  • a technical and scientific description (see conditions above);
  • a declaration by the host EU country recognising the ERIC as an international body within the meaning of the Directives on VAT and on excise duties.

Taking into account the results of the assessment and the opinions of EU countries, the Commission must adopt its decision and notify the applicant. If the creation of an ERIC is approved, the decision is published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

During the assessment period applicants may be invited to complete or amend their application.

The ERIC has legal personality and must have its statutory seat in one of its members (EU country or country associated with the EU Framework Programme for Research). Its name must include the abbreviation ERIC.

Membership of an ERIC must comprise an EU country and 2 other countries which are either EU countries or associated countries. They may be joined at any stage by other EU countries or associated countries, other countries or specialist inter-governmental organisations.

An ERIC is considered as an international body or organisation in the sense of the directives on value-added tax, on excise duties and on public procurement. It is thus exempted from VAT and excise duties and its procurement procedures are outside the scope of the directive on public procurement.

The liability of the members for the debts of the ERIC is, in principle, limited to their respective contributions.

The applicable law is firstly EU law, then the law of the country of the statutory seat or of the country of operation regarding certain safety and technical matters.

5 years after its adoption, the Commission carried out an evaluation of the legal framework and submitted a report to the European Parliament and the Council.

Background

This regulation is one of the strategic initiatives following the Green Paper on the European Research Area (ERA) of 4 April 2007. This initiative contributes to the implementation of the Research infrastructures section of the 7th Framework Programme (2007-2013) and of Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020).

More information is available at: European Commission’s Directorate General for Research & Innovation European Research Infrastructure Consortium

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 723/2009

28.8.2009

-

OJ L 206 of 8.8.2009, p. 1-8

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EU) No 1261/2013

26.12.2013

-

OJ L 326 of 06.12.2013, p. 1-2

RELATED ACTS

Commission Implementing Decision 2014/923/EU of 12 December 2014 on setting up the Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (JIV-ERIC) (Official Journal L 363 of 18.12.2014, p. 156-169).

Commission Implementing Decision 2014/526/EU of 6 August 2014 setting up the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (DARIAH ERIC) (Official Journal L 239 of 12.8.2014, p. 64-80).

Commission Implementing Decision 2014/261/EU of 5 May 2014 on setting up Euro-Argo Research Infrastructure as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (Euro-Argo ERIC) (Official Journal L 136 of 9.5.2014, p. 35-50).

Commission Implementing Decision 2013/713/EU of 29 November 2013 on setting up the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN) as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ECRIN-ERIC) (Official Journal L 324 of 5.12.2013, p. 8-20).

Commission Implementing Decision 2013/700/EU of 22 November 2013 on setting up the European Social Survey as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ESS ERIC) (Official Journal L 320 of 30.11.2013, p. 44-62).

Commission Implementing Decision 2013/701/EU of 22 November 2013 on setting up the Biobanks and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure Consortium (BBMRI-ERIC) as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (Official Journal L 320 of 30.11.2013, p. 63-80).

Commission Implementing Decision 2013/640/EU of 7 November 2013 on setting up the European Advanced Translational Research Infrastructure in Medicine as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (EATRIS ERIC) (Official Journal L 298 of 8.11.2013, p. 38-47).

Commission Decision 2012/136/EU of 29 February 2012 setting up the Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (CLARIN ERIC) (Official Journal L 64 of 3.3.2012, p 13-28).

Commission Decision 2011/166/EU of 17 March 2011 setting up the SHARE-ERIC (Official Journal L 71 of 18.3.2011, p. 20-31), as amended by Commission Implementing Decision 2014/302/EU of 27 May 2014 (Official Journal L 159 of 28.5.2014, p. 52-53).

Last updated: 21.01.2015

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