Considerations Concerning the MoU Between COST and the ESFL as Approved on 6 October 2006 (extract)

October 11, 2006

Brussels, 10 Oct 2006

Full text of Document 291/06
Suite of documents 291/06

Subject: Addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding between COST and the ESF1 as approved by the CSO by written procedure on 6 October 2006


(1) Whereas the cooperation between COST and ESF is regulated by the "Memorandum of Understanding" approved in principle by the ESF Governing Council in September 2002 and agreed by the COST Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) in October 2002 where it is stated that "The ESF is prepared, as from 1 January 2003, to act as the legal entity to provide and manage the administrative, technical and scientific secretariat for COST, its Technical Committees and its Actions, dependent of the appropriate funding for the COST activities and the COST Office being made available from the EU RTD framework programme";

(2) Whereas the Council of the European Union in its conclusions of 26 November 2002 on progress made in the development of the European Research Area (ERA) and on providing it with a new momentum 2 welcomed "efforts currently being undertaken in the context of ERA to achieve closer linkage with other European cooperation initiatives such as COST, Eureka and ESF, with a view of creating synergies while respecting their complementary roles";

(3) Whereas the COST Ministerial Conference held in Dubrovnik in May 2003 3 "EMPHASISED that COST must maintain an efficient organisation supported by a capable, cost-effective scientific secretariat to assist in the execution of the work and ENDORSED to that effect the contents of the Memorandum of Understanding between COST and the ESF";

(4) Whereas a contract between the European Commission (EC) and the ESF to enable the ESF to carry out the activities envisaged in the COST-ESF MoU during the 6th RTD Framework Programme was established in July 2003 and will run until the end of 2007;

(5) Whereas the Chairman of the CSO, on behalf of the Committee, was mandated to follow the negotiations of the EC-ESF contract for COST and to report to the CSO 4 and that, before the signature of the contract by the EC and the ESF, the contract was presented and discussed in the COST CSO5;

(6) Whereas the COST CSO in its 161st meeting in March 2005 6 assessed, as envisaged in the MoU, the operations of the MoU "with a view to transmitting its opinions, and possible recommendations for the future to the Council, Parliament and Commission, in particular to provide the latter with suggestions likely to be relevant for future Framework Programme proposals";

(7) Whereas in the assessment of the COST-ESF MoU the COST CSO noted that:
- the provisions of the COST-ESF MoU have been executed;
- the COST Office established by the ESF in Brussels is fully operational and COST has not only regained its traditional strengths but offers to the scientific community more and more new opportunities;
- the ESF provides the scientific, technical and administrative support for COST and the quality of the support is subject to the continuous evaluation during each consecutive CSO meeting and is steadily and gradually improving;
- the ties between COST and the ESF are strengthening. This partnership is already proving its effectiveness for the parties concerned and in the service provided to the research community;

and, building on the operational benefits of the creation of the COST Office, recommended:

- to find a type of contract under the 7th RDT Framework Programme7 which would impose less reporting requirements on the ESF without prejudice to the obligations laid down in the financial rules of the Communities;

(8) Whereas the ESF Executive Board reviewed the MoU at its meeting on 17 November 2004 and decided that the present MoU should serve as the basis for continued cooperation between COST and ESF;

(9) Whereas the High-Level Panel established by the European Commission for the mid-term review of the EC-ESF contract for COST recognised the benefits of the COST-ESF collaboration


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