Brussels, 14 March 2006
15th Council Meeting - Competitiveness (Internal Market, Industry and Research). Brussels, 13 March 2006
The Council held an exchange of views on five of the seven specific programmes proposed for implementing the 7th research framework programme (FP7). It also took note of a progress report, followed by an exchange of views, on the rules for participation of undertakings, research centres and universities in actions under FP7.
The Council instructed the permanent representatives committee to continue the examination of the Commission proposals bearing in mind the guidance given by the Council and in the light of the opinions that will be delivered by the European Parliament and on the outcome of the ongoing discussions on the long-term financial perspectives.
The debate took place on the basis of compromise proposals for the following specific programmes:
- "Cooperation": collaborative research (136/05),
- "Ideas": establishment of an European Research Centre (ERC) (130/05),
- two programmes for direct actions to be carried out by the Joint Research Centre (1/05 and 132/05), and
- "Euratom": for nuclear research and training activities (134/05).
The debate focused on the following:
- the ethical principles that apply in respect of the eligibility of projects to be funded under FP7;
- the broad principles governing the management and implementation of the specific programmes; and
- questions related to the implementing structure for the ERC.
Following the exchange of views a large degree of consensus was reached on the above mentioned specific programmes.
The Council, at its session on 28 November 2005, reached agreement on a partial general approach on the FP7 for research, technological development and demonstration activities for the years 2007 to 2013, including the separate "Euratom" decision (which runs until 2011).
The remaining specific programmes "People" (human resources) and "Capacities" (potential research capacities of small and medium enterprises) will be examined at a later stage.
As far as the rules for participation are concerned, the exchange of views on the draft regulation laying down rules for the participation of undertakings, research centres and universities in actions under FP7 and for the dissemination of research results (2007-2013), took place on the basis of a report prepared by the presidency reflecting the current state of play (6958/06).
The rules on participation define conditions, rights and obligations of legal entities wishing to take part in FP7 and establish principles for the use and dissemination of research results.
The Commission presented its proposal, which is part of the legislative package of the FP7, on 3 January (5057/06).
On 7 February, the Commission also submitted a proposal for the corresponding rules on participation in the 7th "Euratom" framework programme (6185/06). This proposal will be examined at a later stage.
Over lunch, EU research ministers listened to a presentation by the Commission on its communication to the European Council in relation to the setting up of a European Technology Institute (6844/06).
They also listened to a presentation by Esko Aho, chairman of the independent expert group which drew up a report on "Creating an innovative Europe" following the informal Hampton Court summit (1).
(1) http:///www.europa.eu.int/invest-in-resea rch/action/2006_ahogroup_en.htm
EU-Latin America/Caribbean summit
The Council took note of a report by the presidency on the preparation of the 4th EU-Latin American and Caribbean summit as regards science and technology cooperation. The summit, involving heads of state and government, civil society and the business community from both regions, will take place in Vienna on 11 and 12 May (6384/06).
News release 6964/06 (Presse 65)