Brussels, 23 Nov 2004
The Council has discussed the Presidency conclusions on its report "Towards cooperation between research funders and programme managers in the domain of Agriculture, Food, Rural Development and Fisheries in the European Union", which have received a broad support.
The Presidency took note of the readiness from the Commission to organise a high level meeting on the basis of the Standing Committee for Agricultural Research (SCAR) platform under the Luxembourg presidency in February 2005. The Presidency conclusions stressed the need for strengthened cooperation between ministries of agriculture and ministries for research, and noted the existence of a common desire for Member States to develop common approaches.
The Slovak, German, Slovenian, United Kingdom, Greek and Luxembourg delegations welcomed the initiative of the Presidency.
Commissioner Potocnik, responsible for Science and Research, noted the increasing expectations of consumer as regards food quality and sustainable agriculture. He warmly welcomed the initiative of the Presidency to launch a survey on the current and future projects on agriculture related research. He indicated that a high level meeting will take place in February 2005 enabling Member States to discuss themes for cooperation within the Standing Committee for Agricultural Research (SCAR). In that perspective Member States will have to nominate two experts to attend this meeting. He stressed that the sixth framework programme had been used as an implementing tool with the funding of agricultural and aquacultural projects. He expressed his hopes to present in early 2005 new proposals included in the new seventh framework programme.
Commissioner Fischer Boel supported the goal of a competitive and sustainable agricultural sector, stressing that research was a priority of the Lisbon agenda.