Brussels, 13 Jun 2006
The meeting was chaired by Mr José SILVA RODRIGUEZ (European Commission, Director General for Research) and by Mr Richard ESCRITT (European Commission, Director).
1. ADOPTION OF THE DRAFT AGENDA
The Committee adopted the agenda as set out in communication CM 1703/06 of 10 May 2006.
2. APPROVAL OF THE DRAFT SUMMARY CONCLUSIONS OF THE 307th MEETING OF 17 MARCH 2006
The Committee approved the summary conclusions of the meeting of 17 March as set out in doc. CREST 1203/06 .
3. INFORMATION FROM THE PRESIDENCY AND THE COMMISSION
a) Mr SEISER (AT Presidency) gave an update on major research-related activities during the Austrian Presidency. In particular, he highlighted:
- the meeting of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council held in Vienna on 26/ April 2006;
- the Conference on European Technology Platforms on 4/5 May 2006;
- the EU/Latin America and Caribbean Summit, held in Vienna on 11/12 May 2006 and covering a broad range of policy items;
- the research items scheduled for the Competitiveness Council in Brussels (29/30 May 2006);
- the launching of the Steering Platform for the Western Balkan Countries on 26 June 2006 in Vienna.
b) Mr ESCRITT (European Commission, Director) informed the Committee of:
- the progress on the legislative work on the FP 7 and specific programmes proposals from the viewpoint of the Commission. The modified FP7 proposals would be adopted by the Commission on 24 May and would now reflect the budgetary agreement on the financial perspectives;
- the Communication from the Commission "Delivering on the modernisation agenda for universities: education, research and innovation"1 adopted by the Commission on 10 May 2006 and reflecting the challenges for universities with regard to a globalized and transdisciplinary approach, as well as the financial situation in the education sector;
- the forthcoming Communication on the European Institute for Technology (EIT) which is likely to be adopted by the Commission in June;
- the progress towards the establishment of ITER, notably the initialling of the agreement by the seven parties involved on 24 May 2006.
1 doc. 9166/06 .
4. FOLLOW-UP TO WORKING METHODS OF CREST
The Chair drew the attention of delegations to a joint letter by the AT and incoming FI Presidencies concerning the future working methods of CREST. The letter suggests a "troika" approach (current and future Presidency and the Commission) for mid- and long-term planning of substantial points for discussion at CREST meetings.
Mr ESCRITT (Commission services) recalled the suggestions for improvement already mentioned at the last CREST meeting, such as a smaller number of agenda items per meeting and a clearer distinction between and prioritization of presentation and discussion items. It is clear that CREST had achieved satisfactory results, in particular on the 3 % OMC process, but that the advantages of CREST, as a body of representatives from Member States and associated countries not directly involved in day-to-day European decision-making, could be enhanced if it were to provide a broader perspective and timely input to European research policy issues.
Several delegations supported the substance of the joint letter, notably the "troika" approach,
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