Italian Presidency announces research priorities

July 8, 2003

Brussels, 07 Jul 2003

The Italian government has announced that raising research investment and developing the European Research Area (ERA) will be among its priorities during its six month Presidency of the EU.

'The Italian Presidency attaches great importance to the integration and reinforcement of the European Research Area as a basic building block for the construction of a dynamic knowledge-based economy,' states the Italian government.

The Presidency also intends to table a resolution identifying measures for the effective training of researchers, as well as obstacles to mobility, and to press forward with the mapping of European Centres of Excellence.

In order to increase research investment to three per cent of GDP within the EU, the Italian government recognises the 'need to set an optimum reference framework capable of combining the development of financial resources, both public and private, with effectiveness in their use.

As the temporary suspension on the funding of certain types of stem cell research under the Sixth Framework Programme is due to end in December 2003, the Presidency also hopes to reach a political agreement on the conditions allowing such funding to be introduced.

The Presidency also states its intention to promote political agreement on the continuation of the ITER (thermonuclear reactor) programme, and in particular on a European candidate for hosting the reactor; to follow negotiations between the Commission and the European Space Agency on a framework agreement; and to secure the necessary regulation for introducing the Community Patent.

For further information, please consult the following web address: itivita/PrioritaPresidenza.htm

Further coverage of the Italian Presidency's research activities will be available soon at the following web address:

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities

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