24 May 2013 | General
Press Release - Election of CSO President

At the 187th meeting of the COST Committee of Senior Officials (CSO), held in Brussels on 15-16 May 2013, the election for the President of the CSO took place.

The Committee re-elected Dr Angeles Rodríguez-Peña, the current president of the CSO, as its new President for her second mandate, which will begin on 22 June 2013. Dr Rodríguez-Peña has held the CSO Presidency since June 2010 and will complete her second mandate in June 2016. 

Over the past three years, Dr Rodríguez-Peña has led the CSO though challenges and embraced new opportunities. Encouraging an open presidency, both participatory and transparent, she has ensured that all members of the CSO have the opportunity to have their opinion heard. The establishment of working groups, task forces and break-out sessions has further enabled this open discussion and the contribution of all parties. Dr Rodríguez-Peña’s focus has been on policy, the development COST’s future and the furthering of COST as a tool for the scientific community. 

To achieve this, she has engaged all stakeholders, holding meetings with relevant persons of the EU institutions: the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament, explaining to them COSTs role and contribution in the ERA and to Innovation Union goals by providing them regular updates on COST’s preparation for the future.  These efforts have provided results and have contributed to COST being mentioned in the European Commission's proposal for the future framework for Research and Innovation "Horizon 2020" and supported by the European Council and European Parliament. 

It has also been necessary to unite the key actors of COST’s future including the Commission, European Science Foundation and the COST CSO to effectively accomplish a smooth transition from ESF to a new implementing structure. The CSO is working towards the establishment of a legal entity for COST governed by the COST countries. This will facilitate a seamless evolution for COST from the current FP7 to the new Horizon 2020 in 2014, while at the same time balancing the transition from ESF, the current implementing agent, to COST’s own COST Association. 

In May 2011 the CSO revised its Mission Statement to adapt to the new context and with the aim to contribute to strengthen Europe’s research and innovation capacities. An important step was taken in March 2012 with the approval of the COST Position paper: “The COST Framework - A cornerstone of the ERA”. In the Position paper, the CSO’s 35 Member Countries underlined COST’s added value for contributing to the building of the European Research Area by fostering scientific and technological excellence on the basis of a completely open and bottom-up process openness while ensuring inclusiveness and political support. 

Over the next three years, Dr Rodríguez-Peña will continue to foster the close partnerships between COST and the EU institutions, as well as the scientific communities. The challenges of the upcoming transition will be met with strong leadership, and the re-election of Dr Rodríguez-Peña will provide stability and energy for the demanding and rewarding times ahead to ensure continuity and excellence in the interest of the scientific communities in particular and European citizens in general.

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