Joint Research Centre (Redirected from Directorate-General of the Joint Research Centre (European Commission))

The logo of the JRC.
The logo of the JRC.

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to European Union (EU) policy.


The JRC is a directorate-general of the European Commission under the responsibility of Iliana Ivanova, the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. The current director-general of the JRC is Stephen Quest, who took office in 2020, succeeding Vladimír Šucha. Its Board of Governors assists and advises the director-general on matters relating to the role and the scientific, technical and financial management of the JRC.


Composed of strategy and coordination, knowledge production, knowledge management and support directorates, the JRC is spread across six sites in five EU countries: in Belgium (Brussels and Geel), Germany (Karlsruhe), Italy (Ispra), the Netherlands (Petten), and Spain (Seville). Their responsibilities are:

  • to create, manage and make sense of knowledge to support European policies with independent evidence
  • to develop innovative tools and make them available to policymakers
  • to anticipate emerging issues that need to be addressed at EU level and understand policy environments
  • to share know-how with EU countries, the scientific community and international partners
  • to contribute to the overall objective of Horizon 2020
  • to conduct Euratom-funded research on nuclear safety and security to contribute to the transition to a carbon-free economy.

A portion of the budget of the EU under the Framework Programme is allocated directly to the JRC.


The Italian Centre in Ispra originally belonged to the Comitato Nazionale per l'Energia Nucleare (CNEN) and was officially transferred to the Community on 1 March 1961. Since 1973, non-nuclear research evolved rapidly, especially in topics related to safety and the environment. After 16 years of research, the nuclear reactor at JRC Ispra was shut down in 1983.

At the beginning of the 1980s, a re-examination of the mandate and evaluation of the activities of the JRC began. Future activities were to continue to support the commission's implementations of Community policies. In 1987, journalist Richard L. Hudson published an article on the home page on The Wall Street Journal, which featured the opinions of a remote sensing expert employed at JRC, along with some insights drawn from an external report commissioned by the Directorate-General. These opinions where combined to express deep concern about the center's state at the time, describing it as a disaster hindered by dysfunctional bureaucratic constraints. The then JRC director of projects, Raymond Klersy, criticized the article, claiming they were biased and incomplete in their representation of the situation.

In 1992, the results of a study led to a proposal to convert the JRC Ispra site into an environmentally-optimised model site; the "ECO Centre". The JRC employs around 2787 staff with an annual budget of 372,5 million euros for 2017.

Science areas

The JRC research activities are clustered into ten science areas:

  1. Agriculture and food security
  2. Economic and Monetary Union
  3. Energy and transport
  4. Environment and climate change
  5. Health and consumer protection
  6. Information Society
  7. Innovation and growth
  8. Nuclear safety and security
  9. Safety and Security
  10. Standards

See also

This page was last updated at 2023-11-14 05:30 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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