Brussels, 26 Feb 2004
1. The Commission transmitted to the Council on 19 January 2004 its communication entitled "Europe and basic research"1 the purpose of which is to both contribute to the wider debate taking place today on basic research and to help launch discussions at the European political level. It also responds to the request made by the "Competitiveness" Council to the Commission last year to present its views on the subject.
2. The Research Working Party has discussed at several meetings the text of draft Council conclusions prepared as a response to the Commission communication and has also incorporated elements from the recent symposium held in Dublin on 16/17 February 2004 on "Europe's Search for excellence in basic research". Following the meeting of 23 February the Presidency considers that the draft text, set out in the annex to the present note, has a large measure of consensus, subject to scrutiny by all delegations.2 The Committee is invited to finalise the draft text with a view to it being submitted to the Council for approval on 11 March 2004.
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