Brussels, 17 Jan 2003
The European economic area joint committee has concluded an agreement extending scientific cooperation between the EU and three European free trade association (EFTA) states to include the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).
With the entry into force of the decision on 10 January, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein all secured equal participation status under the new framework programme, which runs from 2002 to 2006.
An EFTA spokesperson told CORDIS News: 'We are delighted to have concluded the negotiation process in such a timely fashion. This ensures that the three EFTA states will be able to participate fully in the first call for proposals, and have representatives on the programme's management committees. Scientists from EFTA countries, Member States and the candidate countries can now look forward to fruitful cooperation on an equal basis.'
With the publication of the first call for proposals on 17 December 2002, EFTA representatives were keen to reach an agreement securing their continued participation in the Community research programme as quickly as possible. The summer deadline for budgetary contributions to the programme was also an important factor.
Switzerland, the fourth EFTA state, is not a member of the European economic area, and is currently involved in separate negotiations with the EU on FP6 participation. They too will be hoping to conclude the process before the summer deadline.
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