Brussels, 15 February 2002
On Monday, 18 February 2002 European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin will present his view on how best the European research efforts against landmines should be pursued in order to reach the ambitious goal of total elimination of anti-personnel landmines world-wide in the coming years.
The Common Position adopted by the Council and the European Parliament on 23 July 2001, demands that the Community exercises determined leadership in order to reach this goal. It also underlines that further research and development of mine action technology will have to continue and that further scientific research should be intensified with the aim to facilitate mine clearance to become faster, safer and more cost-effective.
Commissioner Busquin is convinced that the many ongoing research efforts, at all levels and in the Members States, will have to be much better co-ordinated. A strategy is needed identifying the different steps of development and bringing together all actors: universities, research centre and industry including the work done by the Joint Research Centre.
At the Conference, Mr Busquin will outline how the European Research Area with its new instruments contains many potentials for humanitarian demining. He will recommend the actors to create a newtork of excellence.
Keynote speakers will include Commissioner Busquin, Belgian Defence Minister André Flahaut and several Members of the European Parliament. The international workshop hosted by the Royal Military Academy of Belgium will also give a forum to speakers from various NGOs, international organisations such as the United Nations Mine Action Services and from the scientific world. The press is invited to attend the entire workshop (starting at 9h00), as well as the press conference at 16h30 at the Royal Military Academy, Avenue de la Renaissance 30, Bloc I, Pressroom, Brussels.