Brussels, 07 Mar 2006
To: COST Committee of Senior Officials (CSO)
Subject: COST governance - possible other reforms
Delegations will find attached a document on COST governance examined by the JAF Group at its meeting on 15/16 February 20061, and with a view to agenda item 11 of the 164th CSO meeting on 29/30 March 2006.
Delegations are kindly requested to send their written comments, if any, to the Secretariat by 17 March 2006 at the latest.
COST GOVERNANCE - Possible other reforms
1. Ministerial Conferences
COST Ministerial Conferences will normally be held every four years organised by the COST Secretariat with input from the CSO and the COST Office, possibly in conjunction with important COST events. This would ensure national control of COST and to make COST visible in the ERA. Each Conference would be the occasion for the endorsement of high strategic decisions on COST's role in the ERA and receipt of the CSO report.
The CSO is invited to approve this proposal at its meeting in March 2006.
The next COST Ministerial Conference could take place in March 2008, possibly in the context of the informal Competitiveness Council meeting during Slovenia's EU Presidency, ideally during the afternoon of the first day to assure a good presence of Ministers.
The COST Secretariat has explored the above possibility with the Slovenian delegation and the CSO will be informed of the outcome of these consultations at the meeting in March.
2. Overall Memorandum of Understanding
Each Conference should be the occasion for the ceremonial renewal of an overall COST Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The overall MoU would replace the signing of the MoU of each single Action. Participation in new Actions would be confirmed by the COST National Coordinators when nominating the national representatives to the Management Committee of an Action approved by the CSO.
The CSO is invited to express its opinion on the above proposal at its meeting in March 2006 and, when agreed, invite the COST Secretariat and the COST Office to present a draft proposal of an overall MoU for the June 2006 meeting. This would allow delegations to start examining the proposal at national level.
3. Committee of Senior Officials (CSO)
Each CSO meeting is divided in two parts: Governance and Strategy.