Brussels, 01 Nov 2002
31 October 2002
"I/A" ITEM NOTE
Subject: Adoption of a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the rules for the participation of undertakings, research centres and universities and for the dissemination of research results for the implementation of the European Community sixth framework programme (2002-2006).
1. The Commission submitted its original proposal on 11 September 20011. An amended proposal was submitted on 11 January 20022.
2. The Economic and Social Committee adopted its opinion on 21 February 20023.
3. Following a number of informal discussions between the Presidency and representatives from the European Parliament, which also involved the Commission services, with a view to reaching agreement at first reading, the European Parliament adopted its opinion on the text of the Regulation on 3 July 20024.
4. The Working Party was subsequently able to approve all the amendments contained in the opinion of the European Parliament and informed the Permanent Representatives Committee accordingly.
5. In the light of the above, it is suggested that the Committee recommends that the Council, under the "A" items of a forthcoming session:
- adopt the Regulation concerning the Rules for participation (EC) by qualified majority with Portugal abstaining, in accordance with Article 251 § 2 (first indent) of the Treaty, as set out in doc. PE-CONS 3647/02 RECH 144 CODEC 1003, which has been revised by the legal/linguist experts5;
- publish the Regulation in the Official Journal;
- include in the Council Minutes the annexed statement by the Portuguese delegation.
UNILATERAL STATEMENT BY THE PORTUGUESE DELEGATION
Portugal can see no justification for the omission, from the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning participation and dissemination of research results, of a provision safeguarding the specific nature of the new instruments, viz. networks of excellence and major integrated projects.
Portugal has always argued that, in conception and implementation, networks of excellence and major integrated projects should be kept as open as possible, since there is a risk of using Community funding to strengthen what is already strong and works very well, whereas the aim should be to provide support where there is significant room for improvement in the quality of work and results.
The idea here, then, is to generate genuine Community added value, which can be ensured, in the absence of proof to the contrary, only if the minimum number of participants for the new instruments is five entities from at least three Member States.
Under the circumstances, Portugal cannot vote in favour of the Regulation and is therefore abstaining.