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The European Union as a Model of International Co-operation in Science, Technology and Sustainable Development

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Abstract

This article presents European Union (EU) research policy as a stable, long-term form of organising international science and technology (S&T) co-operation, and evaluates the prospects for transposing this model to co-operation with non-European countries in the context of sustainable development (SD). The European approach combines scientific objectives with common political, social, economic and environmental aims through a form of partnership based on dynamism, collective decision-making and the distribution of research responsibility. It is argued that the prevailing character of co-operation between Europe and developing countries (DCs), which stresses the transfer of resources, does not adequately recognise the knowledge, capacity for innovation and valuable socio-cultural assets of partners within the developing world. The common objective of sustainable development in an increasingly interdependent world creates opportunities for extending aspects of the European model of S&T co-operation to wider partnerships to build scientific capacity, political stability, economic prosperity and environmental quality in a way that has been demonstrably successful within the European Union itself.

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