Brussels, 28 Sep 2006
COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
pursuant to the second subparagraph of Article 251 (2) of the EC Treaty concerning the common position of the Council on the adoption of a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the 7th Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013)
2. COMMISSION'S POSITION ON THE COMMON POSITION
In accordance with Article 251 of the EC Treaty, the present communication sets out the Commission's position on the Council's Common Position, adopted by qualified majority on 25 September 2006 concerning the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, following the political agreement reached on the 24 July 2006. Political agreement on the Euratom Framework Programme was also reached on 24 July 2006.
Broadly, the Common Position maintains the structure and content of the Framework Programme proposed by the Commission and is, in overall terms, highly consistent with the opinion of the European Parliament.
The Council has incorporated a large majority of the amendments adopted in the opinion of the European Parliament, on the first reading (15 June 2006) and accepted by the Commission in its amended proposal1.
3. COMMENTS ON THE COMMON POSITION
The Commission regards the Common Position as a good basis for further negotiations on the Framework Programme with a view to reaching a second reading agreement.
As regards the budget, the Council (and the European Parliament) has endorsed the overall amount of EUR 50,521 million which the Commission proposed in its amended proposal2, following the conclusion on 17 May 2006 of the Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management.3
On the budget breakdown, the Common Position is broadly consistent with the Commission amended proposal and the Parliament opinion, with the exception of: