EESC welcomes the seventh RTD Framework Programme from 2007 till 2013 as a first step in the right direction

December 19, 2005

Brussels, 15 December 2005

The European Economic and Social Committee considers in its opinion the Commission’s proposal to increase expenditure and to devote nearly 8% of the total Community budget for Research and Technological Development, as a welcome and absolutely necessary first step in the right direction.

The seventh framework programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007 to 2013), the FP7, differs from its predecessors in three respects:

  • It encompasses the EU 25 from the very start;
  • The programming period has been extended by two years;
  • The programme envisages a substantial increase in the total budget and annual budgets.
By contrast, the seventh framework programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for nuclear research and training activities (2007 to 2011), the Euratom FP7, is of the same duration as before, although obviously it too covers the EU 25.

The proposed total of Community financial participation in FP7 is EUR 72,726 million and in EURATOM FP7 is EUR 3,092 million. The EESC has adopted an Opinion on these two proposals of the Commission, whose main points are the following:

The Lisbon objectives are about Europe's position in global competition, which centres around the race to invest more in research and development; this involves both the traditional industrial nations (e.g. USA, EU and Japan) and the burgeoning new economic powers (e.g. China, India, Brazil, Korea) with their substantially cheaper labour.

Community-funded research and development activities create considerable European added value. They open up potentials that plainly go beyond the capacities of individual Member States and have already facilitated European developments of global importance.

The Committee calls on the European Parliament, the European Council and, in particular, Member State heads of state or government to make the urgently needed R&D investments proposed by the Commission available in full and to ensure that these do not become a pawn in – or fall victim to – the negotiations on the EU’s future overall budget.

It also urges the heads of state or government and on European industry, including through their national research programmes and industrial research measures, to help ensure that the target of 3% of the GDP invested in RTD is reached.

Finally, the Committee welcomes the fundamental direction of the two framework programmes proposed by the Commission (FP7 and Euratom FP7), not only for their thematic content and structure, but also, for the most part, for the balance they strike between the objectives and components of the individual programmes, and is pleased at the inclusion of the energy, security and space sub-programmes.

For more information on this Opinion please contact Joao Pereira dos Santos , e-mail address:

For more details, please contact:
Karel Govaert or Christian Weger at the EESC Press Office.
Rue Belliard 99, B-1040; Bruxelles
Tel.: 02 546 9396/9586; Mobile: 0475 753 202


The European Economic and Social Committee represents the various economic and social components of organised civil society. It is an institutional consultative body established by the 1957 Treaty of Rome. Its consultative role enables its members, and hence the organisations they represent, to participate in the Community decision-making process. The Committee has 317 members. Its members are appointed by the Council.

Item source: CES/05/142 Date: 15/12/2005 Previous Item Back to Titles Print Item Selection and Arrangement Copyright © 2005 Public Info Net Ltd.

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