Brussels, 10 Nov 2003
In response to the conclusions of the October European Council, the Council proceeded to an exchange of views on enhancing competitiveness and growth based on two questions put by the Presidency concerning impact assessment and priority areas in relation to R&D projects in the context of the "growth initiative" and the "quick-start programme".
In relation to impact assessment, discussions revealed the important horizontal role which the Competitiveness Council should play in relation to many areas of Community legislation affecting competitiveness. Furthermore, it was suggested that the Commission's 2004 legislative and work programme could be the starting point for analysing the priority areas for impact assessment. Ministers also emphasised the clear need to establish practical modalities for the Council to undertake this work in an effective manner.
In relation to research, Ministers gave their initial views on the priority areas for R&D projects which could figure in the "quick-start programme" and stressed the important role which the EIB could play in this respect.
It was noted that both matters would be taken up again in the context of the discussions to be held at the Competitiveness Council scheduled for the 26/ November on European Competitiveness, and in the light of the Commission's communication on the "growth initiative" and "quick-start projects" which will be adopted shortly. The views of the Competitiveness Council would subsequently be transmitted to the European Council to be held in December.