Preparation of the Competitiveness Council of Ministers, Luxembourg, 18<sup>th</sup> April 2005 &ndash; Internal Market, and Research issues

April 18, 2005

Brussels, 15th April 2005

th April 2005 &ndash;Internal Market, and Research issues

(Gregor Kreuzhuber, Antonia Mochan, )

The EU&rsquo;s Council of Ministers responsible for competitiveness will meet in Luxembourg on Monday 18th April at 9.30 under the chairmanship of Jeannot Kreck&eacute;, Luxembourg Minister of the Economy and Foreign Trade, Minister of Sport and Fran&ccedil;ois Biltgen, Minister for Culture, Higher Education and Research. The European Commission will be represented by Vice President G&uuml;nter Verheugen, responsible for Enterprise and Industry, Competitiveness co-ordination and Space, and Janez Poto&#269;nik, Commissioner for Science and Research.

Informal dinner discussion on Sunday 17 April
Ministers will discuss informally the Lisbon Strategy in the follow&ndash;up to the European Spring Council. They will focus on what has been done since the last European Council to re-launch the Lisbon strategy The Ministers will begin with a debate on the post-Kyoto competitiveness. This topic will be introduced by Dr. Dieter Ewringmann, an expert on climate change

Competitivity and Growth &ndash; follow up to the European Council of 22/23 March

Lisbon Strategy

The Presidency will present a summary of the discussion at the informal dinner.

Better Regulation

At the 7 March meeting the Council had an exchange of views on better regulation and simplification of legislation on the basis of a progress report from the Presidency and information given by the Commission. On 16 March the Commission tabled a communication on better regulation designed to cut-red tape, to tackle excessive regulation and to help to strike the right balance between costs and benefits of legislation. &ldquo;Better regulation&rdquo; forms an integral part of European Commission&rsquo;s &ldquo;partnership for growth and jobs. Improving the quality of regulation can significantly spur growth in the EU economy and business. This is why &ldquo;better regulation&rdquo; is a centrepiece of the European Commission&rsquo;s &ldquo;partnership for growth and jobs&rdquo;. Vice President Verheugen will present the package to the Council. This will be followed by an exchange of views based on the replies to a questionnaire prepared by the Presidency.

&ldquo;Integrated Guidelines Package&rdquo;

Last month the Spring European Council gave its full support to the European Commission&rsquo;s &ldquo;Partnership for Growth and Jobs&rdquo; to re-launch and re-focus the Lisbon Strategy. Vice President Verheugen will present to the Council the new 3-year &ldquo;Integrated Guidelines Package&rdquo; for 2005 to 2008 designed to spur growth and jobs in Europe which was adopted by the Commission on. 12 April. Recommending concrete priority actions it lays out a comprehensive strategy of macroeconomic, microeconomic and employment policies to redress Europe&rsquo;s weak growth performance and insufficient job creation. The new integrated guidelines bring a simpler, more focused EU economic governance by reducing the number of guidelines and by concentrating on core measures to create growth and jobs. The package will give guidance to Member States to establish their newly established &ldquo;national reform programmes&rdquo; by autumn 2005. On the basis of the guidelines, Member States will draw up 3-year national reform programmes. Member States will report each autumn on the reform programmes in a single national Lisbon report. The Commission will analyse and summarise these reports in an EU Annual Progress Report in January each year. On the basis of the progress report, the Commission will propose amendments to the integrated guidelines, if necessary.

7th Framework Programme

The Commission will make a first presentation to Member States of its recent proposal for a Research Framework Programme.

This new Research Framework Programme 2007-2013 &ndash; Building Knowledge Europe &ndash; was adopted on 6 April by the European Commission. The proposal provides new impetus to increase Europe&rsquo;s growth and competitiveness, recognising that knowledge is Europe&rsquo;s greatest resource. Greater emphasis than in the past will be put on research that is relevant to the needs of European industry, to help it compete internationally, and develop its role as a world leader in certain sectors.

The programme will also for the first time provide support for the best in European investigator-driven research, with the creation of a European Research Council. Focus will be on excellence throughout the programme, a requirement if it is to play its role in developing Europe&rsquo;s global competitiveness. Another priority will be to make participation simpler.

Memo/05/114 sets out the details of the Commission&rsquo;s proposal, which is now to be debated by the Member States in the Council and European Parliament, before a final Decision is adopted.


Commissioner Janez Poto&#269;nik will debrief Ministers on his recent visit to Japan where he had talks with Mr Nakayama, Japanese minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. It is the aim of both parties to reach an international agreement among the six parties on the subject of the ITER site before July 2005.

Human Resources and R &amp; D: Woman and Science

Ministers will discuss the recent Commission Report &ldquo;Women and Science: Excellence and Innovation &ndash; Gender Equality in Science&rdquo;. In this Report, the Commission details some of the major statistics relating to the position of women in science, as well as on-going work to counter the gender imbalance.

The number of women in top positions in science is growing, but only slowly. At EU level, women only make up 14% of top academics, but constitute 44% of graduates in science and technology subjects. In a report on Gender Equality in Science, the European Commission sets out the actions on-going and under preparation at European level to promote the role of women in science. Increasing the number of women engaged in science is a crucial element in achieving the EU&rsquo;s target of 3% of GDP invested in Research and Development. ( I P/05/363 )

Any other business

Item source: MEMO/05/126 Date: 15/04/2005 Previous Item Back to Titles Print Item

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