Brussels, 10 Dec 2004
1. Purpose of the consultation
Europe is currently reviewing its policies and support mechanisms to better be able to promote competitiveness and innovation with the ultimate goal of achieving growth and employment, -pre-requisites for the promotion of sustainable development and for the maintenance of Europe's social model. The so-called Lisbon agenda and its midterm review in spring 2005 are the framework for this process.
Without prejudice to the results of the Lisbon review and the European Spring Council, a re-orientation of several Community support schemes in support of competitiveness and growth is underway. This includes the Competitiveness and Innovation framework Programme (CIP) announced by the Commission on 14 July 2004, as an instrument to support competitiveness and innovation in the single market. It forms part of the package of proposals put forward by the Commission in the context of the discussions on the EU financial perspective for the period from 2007 to 2013. The Programme would integrate, a number of existing and planned Community programmes 1 in the very fields that have been identified 2 as most critical to boosting European productivity and sustainable growth.
The CIP would encompass actions to
- encourage innovation and the sustainable use of resources;
- ensure the mastery and best use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT);
- improve the access of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to finance; and
- foster economic and administrative reform for more entrepreneurship and a better business environment.
The combination of these actions would achieve a greater impact through increased visibility, effectiveness and synergy.
This document focuses on the benefits and added value of bringing together these different elements into a single framework and on how the Programme would relate to other Community measures 3 in the area of competitiveness and innovation. The purpose of this consultation is to obtain feedback on such a framework Programme, and on its objectives and instruments. It does not address the details of the elements where these have already been the subject of public consultation.