Brussels, 16 Mar 2006
The European Commission's Research DG has published a proposal on the rules for participation in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Atomic Energy Community, known as Euratom.
Euratom is distinct from the rest of FP7 as it falls under a different treaty and has slightly different guidelines regarding participation and dissemination of information. The proposal, which will be sent to the Council for approval, is largely similar to that on the rules for participation for FP7. It has sections on the number of participants, submission and evaluation procedures, grant agreements, reimbursement rates, dissemination and use of access rights, but also has a chapter on the specific rules for participation in activities under the thematic area 'fusion energy research'.
This chapter states that 'The annual base rate for the Community financial contribution shall not exceed 20 per cent over the duration of the Seventh Framework Programme.'
It adds that, following agreement from the consultative committee for the fusion programme, the Commission may finance:
'- within the framework of the Contracts of Association at a rate not exceeding 40 per cent: expenditure of specific cooperative projects between the Associates which have been recommended for priority support by the consultative committee and approved by the Commission. Priority support will concentrate on actions of relevance to the ITER [international thermonuclear experimental reactor] / DEMO, except in the case of projects which have already been awarded priority status during earlier framework programmes;
'- actions carried out under the European Fusion Development Agreement including procurements or within the framework of the Joint Undertaking referred to in Article 51 [of the Euratom Treaty];
'- actions carried out under the Agreement on Staff Mobility.'
The proposal for Euratom under FP7 sees the programme organised in two specific programmes. The first covers fusion energy research for a safe, sustainable, environmentally responsible and economically viable energy source, as well as nuclear fission and radiation protection for the safe use and exploitation of nuclear fission and other uses of radiation in industry and medicine.
The second covers the activities of the Joint Research Centre in the field of nuclear energy. In this area, the Commission's objective is to provide scientific and technical support to the policy making process in the nuclear field, while ensuring support for the implementation of existing policies, and adapting to changing policy demands.
On account of the Euratom Treaty, each Euratom programme may not cover a period longer than five years. The proposal for Euratom therefore covers the years 2007 to 2011. The Commission proposes that, unless extenuating circumstances arise, this framework programme is renewed for the period 2012 to 2013.