Draft Declaration of COST (link)

March 5, 2003

Brussels, 04 Mar 2003

Full text of Document 221/03

26 February 2003

Delegations will find attached the draft Declaration of COST in preparation of the Ministerial Conference in Dubrovnik.

The draft will be discussed by the JAF Group at its next meeting on 21 March 2003.

Declaration of COST

The Representatives of the Governments of the COST Member States:

(Names of participating countries)

and the Council of the European Union and the European Commission, meeting at the COST Ministerial Conference in Dubrovnik on May 2003,

Whereas the COST Ministerial Conference in Prague on May 1997 confirmed the continuing commitment to COST as a valuable and flexible instrument for promotion of European research and technological development by means of coordinated actions among a large number of participants, including the European Commission, in different areas of research;

Whereas COST is an intergovernmental organisation that has contributed significantly to the bottom-up creation of new European research activities both inside the 35 COST countries and beyond, through supporting initiatives for the networking of researchers with marginal amounts of seed money;

Whereas COST has at its core an ethos of flexibility and responsiveness to proposals that originate from all sections of the research community and provides openness and equality of access to activities in a way that is probably unique amongst current S&T cooperation modalities;

Whereas COST 'levers' several billions of euro worth of research per year and actively involves networking some 20.000 ­ 25.000 researchers annually with an annual financial investment in coordination of only around 1% of the research volume;

Whereas COST has consistently and to a high level fostered the international coordination of national research activities in Europe - one of the priorities of the future European Research Area (ERA);

Whereas COST, through its scientific world class networks, and by promoting scientific cooperation including with non-COST countries, has strengthened the European Research Area;

Whereas COST has been very successful in attracting national funding to common European research projects;

Whereas COST has generated a large number of Expressions of Interest for Networks of Excellence and Integrated Projects in the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6);

Whereas COST has repeatedly shown its competence in setting up permanent world class scientific networks in Europe;

Whereas COST has been and is effective in stimulating cooperation in research domains not included as Framework Programme priorities, in supporting novel, interdisciplinary research, and as a precursor providing scientific foresight and anticipating priorities likely to be included into future Framework programmes;

Whereas the number of COST technical committees (TCs) has grown in order to keep pace with the growing number of scientific and technical disciplines within which new COST Actions have been proposed since the origin of COST;

Whereas the areas of agriculture, biotechnology and food sciences have already been merged into a single area under the control of a single technical committee;

Whereas the need is felt to further reduce the number of technical committees for efficiency reasons and for reasons of interdisciplinarity;

[...]

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