Brussels, 24 Sep 2004
Following the exchange of views, the Presidency concluded as follows:
"The Council had an exchange of views on the line to take in the international negotiations on ITER, on the basis of information from the Commission. The Commission is encouraged to pursue actively these negotiations with a view to enabling the Council, at its session of 25 and 26 November 2004, to reach agreement on the main elements of the future international agreement on ITER.
Moreover, the Presidency notes, that during this exchange of views:
- The Council reaffirmed its strong support to the current efforts undertaken by the Commission to find a solution in the negotiations with the international partners for the still unsolved question of the host site of ITER, and to the European candidate, Cadarache, bearing in mind its advantageous position both from the scientific and environmental point of view.
- Because of the global importance of fusion research, there is a consensus that international cooperation should be on the broadest possible basis and involve as many partners as possible. It would be advantageous to pursue a broader approach and the fast track method involving an accompanying programme of research and technological development such as materials research, in addition to ITER, as the means for advancing fusion research.
- With a view to enabling the rapid commencement of the ITER project on the European site in line with the European Council conclusions of March 2004, the Council has invited the Commission to:
- elaborate a clear roadmap in respect of the final phase of the international negotiations;
- take every initiative, also counting on Member States' support, to explain Europe's proposal and its position to its partners and make a strong effort to preserve the global character of the project;
- examine the respective financial implications of the possible scenarios for ITER and related activities, it being understood that the share of the cost of ITER construction to the Community budget should not exceed the present estimate, and present the results of this examination as soon as possible to the Council;
- provide the necessary input in due time to enable the Council to arrive at an appropriate decision in November."