Competitiveness and Growth (Extract from: Preparation of the Competitiveness Council of 10 Nov.)

November 10, 2003

Brussels, 7th November 2003

The Council is expected to have an exchange of views on this point focusing on research aspects, based on a document with two questions prepared by the Presidency.

On 30th April 2003, the Commission adopted a Communication on "Investing in research: an action plan for Europe" (COM(2003)226) which sets out initiatives to reach the Barcelona "3% objective". The Action Plan identifies initiatives required to increase the level of investment in research in the EU from 1.9% to 3% of average Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with two-thirds financed by the private sector.

The Council, at its meeting on 13th May 2003, had a first exchange of views on this Communication.

On 22nd September, the Council adopted a Council Resolution responding to the Commission's Communication. The Resolution invited Member States, acceding countries and the Commission to develop and implement several measures aimed at achieving the 3% objective, through the open method of co-ordination, such as:

  • promoting human resources,

  • developing a European risk capital/venture capital market,

  • improving the environment for the development of new technologies,

  • and intensifying co-operation between industry and public research.
The Action Plan and "3% objective" feed into the Commission's "Initiative for Growth", as endorsed by the October 16-17 European Council. The Initiative for Growth aims at encouraging Europe's economic recovery and take-off by focussing on transport infrastructures and major research projects. In this framework, the Commission will present a list of "QuickStart" projects shortly.

DN: MEMO/03/222 Date: 07/11/2003

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