Brussels, 22 Sep 2003
"Council conclusions on "Life sciences and Biotechnology ­ a Strategy for Europe"
18 THE COUNCIL:
comprehensive and responsible development of biotechnology applications as an important step towards a competitive knowledge-based economy;
2. RECOGNISING the important role that biotechnology, as an enabling technology, plays in many different fields, and thus its significance for the overall competitiveness of European industry;
3. WELCOMES the Commission's first progress report "Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, to the Council and to the European Economic and Social Committee Life Sciences and Biotechnology ­ A strategy for Europe ­ Progress report and Future Orientations" on the implementation of the European biotechnology strategy and agrees with the broad lines of its analysis; in this context RECALLS the importance of an integrated approach addressing all the complex and multifaceted societal and economic issues involved;
4. STRESSES the need for significant efforts to be made to move from the conceptual and planning stage to the implementation of the biotechnology strategy and of the roadmap contained in the Council Conclusions of 26 November 20023 in order to contribute effectively to the achievement of the EU competitiveness objectives set by the Lisbon European Council;
5. UNDERLINES the need to encourage overall coherence in policy making and to envisage, at EU level, the development of appropriate means for closer cooperation among Member States together with the Commission, in implementing the biotechnology strategy;
6. ENCOURAGES Member States and the Commission to step up their co-operation and to regularly exchange information on progress made in order to advance in the priority areas for future action already identified and, in particular, to improve conditions for access to finance for biotechnology companies and to complete and implement the general regulatory framework;
7. AWAITS with interest the results of the Conference on life sciences and biotechnology to be held in Rome on 21-22 November, as a source of possible further input in the process of implementing the Action Plan and the Road-map;
8. INVITES the Commission to assess the progress achieved in this area in its next report."