Brussels, 25 Jul 2005
Proposal for a
DECISION OF THE COUNCIL AND OF THE COMMISSION
on the conclusion on behalf of the European Community and the European Atomic Energy Community of the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the European Communities of the one part and the Swiss Confederation of the other part
1. By joint decision of 4 April 2002 the Council and the Commission concluded the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the European Community and the European Atomic Energy Community of the one part and the Swiss Confederation of the other part. The Agreement entered into force on 1 June 2002.
2. This Agreement associated Switzerland in the specific programmes of the Fifth (EC and Euratom) Framework Programmes. Article 9(2) thereof provided for renewal of the Agreement should the Community adopt new Framework Programmes.
3. On 7 June 2002, as the Sixth (EC and Euratom) Framework Programmes were being adopted by the Communities, the Swiss Confederation officially requested the Commission to renew the abovementioned Agreement with a view to being associated in them.
4. It is in the interest of the Communities to renew this Agreement in order to associate the Swiss Confederation in the Sixth (EC and Euratom) Framework Programmes and thereby expand the European Research Area.
5. Consequently, on 26 November 2002 the Commission proposed that the Council authorise it to negotiate the renewal of the Agreement with a view to associating the Swiss Confederation in the Sixth (EC and Euratom) Framework Programmes. On 20 February 2003 the Council gave the Commission a mandate to negotiate renewal of the Agreement, including the possibility of provisional application so as to allow legal entities from the Swiss Confederation to participate, as early as possible, in the calls under the Sixth (EC and Euratom) Framework Programmes.
6. Renewal of the Agreement was negotiated in line with the negotiating directives annexed to the Council decision of 20 February 2003. These negotiations were completed on 5 September 2003, when the authorised representatives of the two parties initialled the annexed draft Agreement.
7. On 25 November 2003 the Commission submitted to the Council a proposal for a Council Decision authorising the signature of the abovementioned Agreement. The Council adopted this Decision on 22 December 2003 and the attached Agreement and the Annexes thereto were signed on 16 January 2004 in Brussels.
8. This new Agreement is based on the principles laid down in its predecessor, particularly with regard to the Swiss Confederation's contribution to the budgets for the Sixth (EC and Euratom) Framework Programmes. However, it has been adapted to take account of the specifics of the Sixth (EC and Euratom) Framework Programmes. In addition, Annex C contains new provisions on cooperation between the Communities and the Swiss Confederation on control of Community funds.
9. Finally, following the entry into force of the Sixth Framework Programmes, in view of the fact that the associated States make annual contributions to the respective budgets and of the time needed for negotiation of this renewal, it is proposed that this Agreement should enter into force on 1 January 2004 and, if it is not concluded in time, should apply provisionally from that date on, subject to signature at a later date.
10. The Agreement stipulates that the eleven official languages at the time of signing are to be authentic. Regulations No 1/19581 oblige the European Community and the Euratom Community to draft documents of general application in all the official languages of the Member States, which since enlargement, total 20 languages. The Council must therefore decide that the Commission should conclude the Agreement in such a way that the languages of the new Member States are authentic, without formally amending the Agreement. This additional agreement should take the form of an exchange of letters annexed to the Agreement.
11. In the light of the foregoing, the Commission proposes that the Council:
approve, on behalf of the Community and following consultation with the European Parliament, the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the European Communities of the one part and the Swiss Confederation of the other part;
notify the Swiss authorities that the European Community has completed the procedures necessary for the entry into force of the Agreement.