EESC Opinion: RTD - Specific programmes (link)

April 28, 2006

Brussels, 20 April 2006

OPINION of the European Economic and Social Committee on the Proposal for a Council Decision concerning the Specific Programme to be carried out by means of direct actions by the Joint Research Centre under the 7th Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013) Proposal for a Council Decision concerning the Specific Programme "Cooperation" implementing the 7th Framework Programme (2007-2013) of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities Proposal for a Council Decision Concerning the specific programme: "Ideas" implementing the 7th Framework Programme (2007-2013) of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities Proposal for a Council Decision concerning the specific programme "People" implementing the 7th Framework Programme (2007-2013) of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities Proposal for a Council Decision on the Specific Programme: "Capacities" implementing the 7th Framework Programme (2007-2013) of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities Proposal for a Council Decision concerning the Specific Programme to be carried out by means of direct actions by the Joint Research Centre implementing the 7th Framework Programme (2007-2011) of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for nuclear research and training activities Proposal for a Council Decision concerning the specific Programme implementing the 7th Framework Programme (2007-2011) of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for nuclear research and training activities COM(2005) 439 , 440, 441, 442, 443, 444, 445 final
Full text of Opinion in MS Word file on ESC website

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The Committee's comments The following comments are based on the content of chapters 4-6 of the above-mentioned opinion on the 7th R&D framework programme, and are difficult to understand without reference to that document. The Committee supports the Commission's resolve to reflect the cross-cutting relevance of many programme components and to promote multidisciplinarity through cross-thematic approaches. In this connection, the Committee has also discussed the issue of whether branches of research activity relating to such cross-cutting themes - e.g. ICT in medicine - should be included in ICT or rather dealt with as part of the specialised health sub-programme. For example, it recommends steering some of the activities planned as part of ICT more towards the specialised sub-programmes, for instance on health, energy, transport or possibly social sciences, so as to focus on specific aspects related to each of these areas. However, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions here; instead, decisions should be taken on a case-by-case basis, depending, on the one hand, where the greatest scope for methodological synergies may be expected, and where, on the other, optimum linkage can be secured with the specific issues involved in each area. The Committee reiterates its recommendation that, whatever happens, "steps be taken to ensure overall coordination and the necessary link-ups". The Committee also welcomes the Commission's intention to respond flexibly to emerging needs, new knowledge and proposals, and to unforeseen policy requirements. Action by the Commission to promote and coordinate pre-competitive research and development will help to boost the EU's competitive position.

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European Economic and Social Committee

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