Brussels, 01 July 2002
The Danish Presidency of the European Union, which begins on 1 July, will see research as a key element of the Union's competitiveness. To reflect this, the Danish Minister for Science, technology and innovation, Helge Sander, will preside over both the Research and the Telecommunications Councils.
The move, which was agreed at the Seville European Council, marks an attempt to ensure that Europe can move quickly towards its Lisbon summit goal of becoming the most competitive knowledge based society by 2010.
On the Sixth Framework programme (FP6), Mr Sander looks forward to finalising the last few details concerning participation within the first months of the Danish Presidency. He also emphasises that he would like to see innovation receive special attention within FP6. 'It is a goal in itself to shorten the distance between the birth of a new idea and the actual production of a new or improved product,' he says.
Mr Sander says he is also looking forward to discussing how best to achieve the Lisbon goals and how collaboration between European researchers should be assisted.
On the telecommunications issues, the Danish Presidency is looking forward to pressing ahead with the 'eEurope 2005' action plan, which aims to bring the information society to all elements of society. Major areas of focus will include generation of content for the Internet and 3G (third generation) telephony services, as well as looking at the practical issues thrown up by areas such as the roll out of broadband.
A draft Directive is also planned during the Danish Presidency, which will set out the conditions for commercial exploitation of information provided by the private sector. Finalising the conditions of this could help in the production of more attractive content, says Mr Sander.
For more information on the Danish Presidency, please consult the following web addresses: http://www.cordis.lu/denmark