Council position on Sixth Framework Programme, update on rules for participation

February 27, 2002

Brussels, 26 February 2002

Specific programmes implementing the Sixth Framework Programme 2002-2006 (EC and Euratom). Note from The Presidency to The Permanent Representatives' Committee / Council (Research). Brussels, 22 February 2002 (document 6465/02 2001/0122 (CNS) 2001/0123 (CNS) 2001/0124 (CNS) 2001/0125 (CNS) 2001/0126 (CNS) RECH 43 ATO ; No. Cion prop.: 5943/02 RECH ATO 13). Full text

I. INTRODUCTION

1. Following the political agreement reached by the Research Council on 10 December 2001, the Council adopted its common position on the Sixth Framework Programme (EC) on 28 January 2002 and subsequently transmitted it to the European Parliament.

The Council also reached a political agreement on the Sixth Euratom Framework Programme with a view to its subsequent adoption simultaneously with the EC Framework Programme.

2. On 30 January 2002, the Commission presented modified proposals for the specific programmes implementing FP6 (EC and Euratom). The Commission has proposed five specific programmes (three for the EC Programme and two for the Euratom Programme):
(a) Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area [EC]
(b) Structuring the European Research Area [EC]
(c) Joint Research Centre Activities [EC]
(d) Nuclear energy [Euratom]
(e) Joint Research Centre activities [Euratom]

3. On the basis of the Commission's amended proposal, Coreper/the Research Working Party has initiated discussions on the specific programmes. In the absence of an opinion by the European Parliament, these discussions have concentrated mainly on the management aspects, it being understood that the scientific and technological content, as well as other issues (e.g. ethics), will be discussed at a later stage. The main questions identified in relation to the management aspects are set out in II below.

The Presidency, while not wishing to pursue detailed technical discussions at Council level, considers nevertheless that Council guidelines on these questions would facilitate further discussions in the preparatory Council bodies. The Presidency would also welcome Ministers raising other, additional points of special concern in relation to the specific programmes, if they so wish.

II. MAIN MANAGEMENT ISSUES

1. It is recalled that the Council and the Commission have agreed that the management approach to be adopted in implementing the specific programmes should ensure clarity, transparency and efficiency of the management, execution and control of the research activities to be undertaken in the specific programmes.

2. With regard to the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers to be conferred on the Commission, the Commission has proposed that it be assisted by a single programme committee for the specific programme "Integrating and strengthening the European Research Area", as well as a committee for the specific programme "Structuring the European Research Area".6 Discussions have so far centred on the former programme, which includes the priority thematic areas of research and takes up the bulk (EUR 12 525 million) of the total budget of the Framework Programmes (EUR 17 500 million).

The Presidency has concentrated discussions on:
(i) the competencies of the programme committee
(ii) the type of programme committee
(iii) the functioning of the programme committee....

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Rules for the participation of undertakings, research centres and universities for the implementation of the Sixth Framework Programmes (EC and EURATOM) 2002-2006. Note from Presidency to Permanent representatives committee / Council (Research). Brussels, 22 February 2002 (document 6464/02 2001/0202 (COD) 2001/03 (CNS) RECH 42 ATO 26 CODEC 2; No. Cion prop.: 5479/02 RECH 14 CODEC 72; 5691/02 RECH 20 ATO 9). Full text

I. INTRODUCTION

1. Following the political agreement reached by the Council (Research) on 10 December 2001, the Council adopted its common position on the Sixth Framework Programme (EC) on 28 January 2002 and transmitted it to the European Parliament. The Council also reached a political agreement on the Sixth Euratom Framework Programme with a view to its subsequent adoption simultaneously with the EC Framework Programme.

2. The Research Working Party, in the autumn of 2001, started its examination of the Commission's proposals for the "Rules for participation" (EC and Euratom), which are required to implement the Framework Programmes. Based on these discussions and following the Commission's modified proposals which were submitted to the Council in January and pending the opinion by the European Parliament in the first reading, the Presidency has identified certain points on which the Council is called upon to give guidance for further work by the Council bodies. These points are set out in Section II below; Ministers may of course raise additional points of concern relating to the proposals if they so wish.

3. A number of other issues, not raised in this note, have emerged from the discussions, most of which, in the Presidency's assessment, could be solved through technical amendments. The Presidency would also recall the timetable set by the European Council for the adoption of the Framework Programmes by June 2002; this also implies a timely adoption of the implementing measures, i.e. the Rules for participation and the Specific programmes. The Presidency considers that, to achieve this, close cooperation with the European Parliament is essential so as to facilitate a convergence of views between the two legislative bodies....

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