Brussels, 13 Jan 2004
Subject: DRAFT SUMMARY CONCLUSIONS OF THE 291st MEETING OF THE SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL RESEARCH COMMITTEE (CREST) HELD IN BRUSSELS ON 5 DECEMBER 2003
The meeting was chaired by Mr. RICHARDSON (European Commission, deputy Director General, Research), in the absence of the chairman, Dr. MITSOS.
1. ADOPTION OF THE DRAFT AGENDA
The Committee adopted the agenda as set out in telex nº TX05511EN of 1 December 2003.
2. APPROVAL OF THE DRAFT SUMMARY CONCLUSIONS OF THE 290th MEETING
The Committee approved the summary conclusions as set out in doc. CREST 1205/03 .
CREST 1201/04 ThB/kdv 2
3. INFORMATION FROM THE PRESIDENCY AND THE COMMISSION
1. Mr. DE CRESCENZO (Italian Presidency) informed the Committee about progress achieved during the second half of the Italian Presidency:
a) on 11 November 2003, the Council adopted a resolution on the Profession of Researchers in the European Research Area1, encouraging the development of a "European Researcher's Charter", a code of conduct for the recruitment of researchers, the launch of a European Year of Researchers to strengthen the public recognition of the profession of researchers and careers in R&D, and improving the operation of the Researchers' Mobility Portal and the European network of mobility centres. The Council invited all stakeholders to apply the open method of co-ordination (omc), in relation to:
- developing criteria for recording different professional achievements throughout the career of researchers taking into account developments in the "Bologna Process";
- exchanging good practice, where appropriate at international level, as regards the evaluation and appraisal systems for careers in R&D;
- encouraging the social dialogue, as well as dialogue among researchers, stakeholders and society at large, including improving public awareness of science and promoting the interest of young people in research and in a career in science;
- overall working conditions for doctoral candidates, including aspects such as parental leave and taking necessary steps, bearing in mind reciprocity at European level, regarding the portability of national loans and grants in the context of enhanced mobility for researchers;
- promoting equal opportunities for men and women researchers when developing these initiatives;
- continuing efforts to remove other obstacles to a career in research or to mobility including those related to intersectoral mobility and mobility between and within public and private sectors as well as mobility between different functions, taking into account an enlarged European Union.
1 Doc. 14132/1/03 REV 1.
The Commission was invited to report regularly on the progress achieved in improving the employment and career prospects for researchers in Europe.
b) On 26 and November 2003, the Council reached agreement on the single European candidacy to host the International Thermonuclear fusion Energy Research reactor ITER (Cadarache, France). In the margins of the Council, the EC-ESA Framework Agreement was signed, providing an important base for further development of a European space policy. The Commission's White Paper on the European space policy was presented to Council, which also adopted conclusions on the European Growth Initiative1, containing an open list of priority projects ("quick-start projects"), including a strong RTD component amounting to more than 10 billion Euro in investment;
c) On 3 December 2003, the Council examined a text put forward by the Presidency, following deliberations at its meeting on 26 November, on the establishment of further implementing provisions for Community funding of research projects involving the use of human embryos and human embryonic stem cells. No agreement could be reached either on the Commission's amended proposal or on a compromise text put forward by the Presidency.
2. Mr. HALPIN (Irish delegation) outlined the research priorities in the work programme of the incoming Irish Presidency, in particular: