Mutual Learning Exchange (MLE) on alignment and interoperability of research programmes: National Coordination

Joint programming requires alignment and interoperability of the national research programmes. Apart from resource restrictions, these two conditions are generally recognised as the most challenging to reach. The original Lund Declaration (2009) urged Member States and European institutions to “focus research on the grand societal challenges of our times by moving beyond rigid thematic approaches and aligning European and national strategies and instruments”. The 2015 update stated the need to speed up developments and included four priority actions with a focus on structuring the national level. Together with the in 2016 published report of the Expert Group for the Evaluation of Joint Programming and the final Report of the GPC/IG2 on Alignment and Improving Interoperability, this is the basis for the GPC to initiate a Mutual Learning Exchange on alignment and interoperability of research programmes.

The MLE is at heart a moderated setting where national policy makers had the opportunity to exchange and learn from each other on how to alignment national policies, how to remove barriers that hinder international cooperation (amongst others interoperability issues) and what is needed with regard to information and national structures to help remove such barriers. It was about how policy makers can better facilitate and enable the joint programming process at the national level and facilitates sharing of specific good cases and problems.

In the bigger context of the joint programming process, the MLE provided an opportunity to follow up on the recommendations that were made in the three publications. The MLE addressed the needs at the national level and offers a platform for policy makers to exchange on their experiences so far. The MLE ran from July 2016 to March 2017 and twelve Member States participated. Via self-assessments, meetings and country visits several key issues were identified, discussed and recommendations for the way forward were made. Beside situational and inter-related alignment factors, three major alignment factors were identified: 1) National preconditions for participation in JPP/JPI; 2) National Governance Structures and 3) Communication flows and visibility.

This website contains information and all documents on the MLE.