Brussels, 16 Dec 2005
The Austrian government, which takes over the EU Presidency on 1 January, has published its priorities in the field of research. The priorities mainly concern pushing for the fast adoption of proposals.
If the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is to start on time, decisions on the programme itself, as well as on the specific programmes, the rules of participation, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and activities under Articles 169 and 171 of the Treaty, will have to be made before the end of 2006.
Austria therefore pledges to 'make every effort in order to make it possible for [FP7] - a core element of the Lisbon strategy - to start in time'.
The Austrian Presidency will also 'observe and promote' the implementation of the three per cent action plan, which outlines measures for each EU Member State to increase their research investment to three per cent of GDP.
The Austrians will also endeavour to have the remaining decisions on the 'international thermonuclear experimental reactor' (ITER) made as quickly as possible. The European Commission will submit a proposal concerning an international agreement for the participating parties, as well as the creation of a European legal structure, in spring 2006.
Finally, Austria will lead discussion on the expected Commission communications on the European Space Programme and the 'global monitoring for environment and security' (GMES). GMES is expected to become the second pillar of the EU's usage-oriented space policy, alongside Galileo.