Brussels, 29 Sep 2005
The President of COST - the intergovernmental framework for European cooperation in science and research - has welcomed the Commission's proposals for the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), saying they strike the right balance between continuity and evolution.
In his preliminary comments on the FP7 proposals, Francesco Fedi said: 'What the European Commission has achieved in its overall proposal for the Seventh Framework Programme [...] has been the difficult balance between continuity and the introduction of new ideas. We need continuity as well as to evolve and, in my opinion, the European Commission has [struck] the right balance.'
Professor Fedi continued: 'The research community in Europe will welcome the stability of a seven year rolling programme together with a doubling of the budget proposed by the Commission. We must now hope that the politicians in the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers can rapidly accept this proposal, as the thing which could happen is the delay in the approval and start of FP7.'
According to the COST President, the Framework Programme probably represents some 25 to 30 per cent of the manoeuvrable funds available for research in Europe. 'Therefore, a doubling of the finances for FP7 is an important step in achieving the goals of the Lisbon and Barcelona Councils,' he adds.
'Especially important is the proposal for a European Research Council (ERC), based on the support of excellence and forefront research, and run on the basis of competition rather than collaboration,' Professor Fedi concludes. 'The combination of competition, on one hand through the ERC, and coordination, through systems such as COST, is essential in achieving the Lisbon objectives.
For further information on COST, please consult the following web address:
To find out more about the Seventh Framework Programme, please visit: