Commission welcomes Council's green light for EU research programmes

October 2, 2002

Brussels, 30 September 2002

The Council of EU Ministers today approved the five Specific Programmes implementing the €17,5 billion 6th EU Research Framework Programme (FP6 2003-2006). "I welcome this key vote", said EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin. "All is now set for a rapid start to the Research Programmes with the first calls for proposals published before the end of this year. The rapid conclusion of the decision-making process on ambitious EU research programmes provides an additional strong basis for creating a true European Research Area."

Last minute discussions in Council and Parliament focused on stem cell research. The agreement reached stipulates that some detailed implementation procedures and a more comprehensive legislative act will be put in place in order to better regulate the EU funding of research involving the use of human embryonic stem cells. It foresees that, until the end of 2003, the Commission will not fund research projects involving the use of human embryonic stem cells, with the exception of stem cells already banked or isolated in culture. Next spring 2003, the Commission will publish a report on the evolution of stem cell research and organise a public seminar on the subject with Council and Parliament.

For further information please see:

DN: IP/02/1398 Date: 01/10/2002

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