Biotechnolgy 1st Implementation report (Extracted from commission press release ahead of the Competitiveness Council of 13 May 2003)

May 13, 2003

Brussels, 12 May 2003

Ministers will have an exchange of views on the first annual report on the Strategy on Life Sciences and Biotechnology and will be asked to indicate their main immediate priorities.

In its first progress report since adopting the EU strategy on life sciences and biotechnology in 2002 (see IP/03/313 ), the European Commission indicates that the risk of diverging policies in Member States could seriously hamper the effectiveness and consistency of the EU strategy in this field. While progress has been made in some areas, such as the adoption of the EU 6 th Research Framework Programme and the EU regulatory framework for GMOs, others are suffering from serious delays.

For instance, Member States are slow in transposing biotechnology patents legislation. These delays increase the risk of failing to meet in the area of life sciences and biotechnology the March 2000 Lisbon European Council objectives, for Europe to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world. Decisive action and concrete commitments are urgent: these include in particular more research and financial resources, and completing the system for the protection of intellectual property rights.

DN: MEMO/03/103 Date: 12/05/2003

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