Israel asks for clarification on role of associated countries in FP7

July 11, 2005

Brussels, 08 Jul 2005

The wish for more clarification on the participation of the EU's associated countries in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is the principal theme running throughout Israel's position paper on the Commission's proposals for the next framework programme.

Israel welcomes most of the Commission's proposals, but asks for clarifications on how its involvement could be affected by certain changes. For example, after stating that the rationale behind FP7 - boosting Europe's competitiveness - is apparent in the structure, goals and budget allocations of FP7, the paper adds: 'Israel would like to receive further clarifications on the role and place of the associated countries in this process. It would like to ensure that also policy-oriented projects undertaken within the Framework Programme shall incorporate all the participating States to the widest possible degree.'

One particular area of concern for Israel is the proposed Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP). The Israel-Europe research and development (R&D) directorate suggests that covering the innovation elements of the previous framework programmes in a new and independent programme may be counterproductive. The paper states the concern that as an associated country, Israel's operational status within projects may become unclear, and thus calls for further information on 'the planned hierarchy and division of competences between the two programmes'.

Another proposal for which Israel would like further clarification is that regarding the different bodies that will be responsible for implementing and financing the programme, including the various Commission DGs and the European Investment Bank. The paper expresses concern over the 'possible duplication of efforts and multiplicity of interpretations regarding the rules of participation in the various programmes'.

Israel also notes that interfaces with other EU policies, such as the Structural and Cohesion Funds and Regional Policy may exclude associated countries, and asks for the consequences of such initiatives to be taken into consideration.

A further area of concern is Technology Platforms. Membership is currently based on participation in European Associations, of which Israel is not a member, according to the paper.

Despite its apprehension about being left out of various initiatives, Israel is generally positive about the proposals, welcoming the focus on themes rather than instruments and the continuity from FP6. The country wishes to remain an active participant in the EU's research programmes and puts the impressive increase in jointly authored papers by European and Israeli researchers in recent years down to collaboration within the EU's research programmes
To follow the debate on FP7, please visit:
http://www.cordis.lu/fp7/debate.htm

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities
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