Proposal to amend the procedure for signing COST Actions

July 2, 2002

Brussels, 01 July 2002

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Subject: Proposal to amend the procedure for signing COST Actions (Memoranda of Understanding)

I. GENERAL CONSIDERATION

Recently, there has been a marked increase in the number of new COST Actions open for signature.

This trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future. In addition, more countries are now participating in these Actions than was previously the case. Whereas in the past it was unusual for more than 10 countries to participate in any COST Action, now it is more likely to be nearer 20 countries.

Inevitably, this has resulted in a considerable increase in the workload for the COST Secretariat, including the Agreements Office. In addition, the procedure for signing COST Actions has become extremely time-consuming. In particular, arranging for the signing of COST Actions at participating countries' Embassies and Missions has become increasingly difficult to organise.

Therefore, in an effort to improve and simplify current procedures in this respect, it is proposed to amend the present procedure for signing COST Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), as follows: -

II. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS OF MODIFYING THE PROCEDURES FOR SIGNING COST ACTIONS (MOUs)

1. The original MOU

(a) The present procedure for signing the original text of each new MOU will be maintained.

Therefore, when at least 5 countries request to participate in a COST Action, the Council's Agreements Office will prepare the text and arrange for its signature; (b) A certified copy of the signed MOU, as well as a table of participants, will be sent by the Council's Agreements Office to each of the signatory countries.

2. Later participation

(a) Any country wishing to participate in a COST Action, which is already in force, will no longer be required to sign the MOU, as at present. Instead, an official request to participate in a COST Action is to be sent, in writing, to the Council's COST Secretariat.

This request may keep the same form as that currently used by Member States.

- In the case where the COST Action has been applied for less than one year, the request will be accepted with immediate effect (this being the date of receipt of the request by the COST Secretariat);

- In the case where the COST Action has been applied for more than one year, the request will be sent to the Management Committee for acceptance (this being the date on which the Management Committee gives its approval).

(b) In both cases, the Council's Agreements Office will send the country concerned a letter of confirmation (see annex), as well as a certified copy of the original MOU and a table of participants.

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