These programmes are essential in ensuring that all member states, including EU15 and candidate countries, have equal opportunities to engage in high-quality research and innovation activities. They help to build capacity in regions that are traditionally underrepresented in EU research and innovation projects, promoting a more balanced and inclusive European Research Area. The EU should expand these programmes by providing additional resources to underrepresented regions. This would involve not only financial support but also targeted training and mentorship programs to help researchers and institutions in these regions enhance their capabilities. Additionally, the EU could promote more cross-border collaboration through initiatives that facilitate partnerships. Encouraging the mobility of researchers and innovation practitioners across the EU can also help spread knowledge and expertise more evenly. By investing in initiatives like this, the EU can achieve a more integrated Union where all regions can contribute and benefit from collective progress.

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