Proposed Council Decision concerning the conclusion of the Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation with Israel

October 1, 2003

Brussels, 30 Sep 2003

Proposal for a
COUNCIL DECISION
concerning the conclusion of the Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation between the European Community and the State of Israel
Full Text

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

1. By its Decision 1999/224/EC of 22 February 1999, the Council concluded an Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation between the European Community and the State of Israel, which entered into force on 8 March 1999.

2. The Agreement associates the State of Israel with all the activities of the specific programmes of the 5th Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities. Article 12(4) of the Agreement provides that "where the Community adopts a new multiannual framework programme for research and development, this Agreement may be renegotiated or renewed under mutually agreed conditions".

3. On 29 March 2002 the State of Israel submitted an official request to the Commission for the renewal of the Agreement associating Israel with the activities of the 5th Framework Programme of the European Community. The renewed Agreement would associate the State of Israel with all the activities of the specific programmes of the 6th Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2002-2006).

4. Since cooperation under the Agreement has proved satisfactory, its renewal would be in the interests of the Community in order to enlarge the European Research Area for the implementation of the 6th Framework Programme.

5. Consequently, on 12 August 2002 the Commission requested the Council to authorise it to negotiate the renewal of the current Agreement. On 5 November 2002 the Council authorised the negotiations, and also envisaged the negotiation of provisional application of the renewed Agreement. Provisional application would enable Israeli entities to participate in the first calls for proposals under the 6th Framework Programme.

6. The renewal of the Agreement has been negotiated in accordance with the directives annexed to the Council Decision of 5 November 2002. The negotiations culminated in the draft Agreement and the Annexes thereto which are attached and were initialled on 17 December 2002 by the authorised representatives of the two parties.

On 28 March 2003, the Commission submitted to the Council a proposal for a Council Decision authorising the signature of the abovementioned agreement. The Council adopted this Decision on 13 May 2003 and the attached Agreement and the Annexes thereto were signed on 10 June 2003 in Brussels.

7. The draft Agreement is based on the principles of mutual benefit, reciprocal opportunities for participating in each party's programmes and activities in the areas covered by the Agreement, non-discrimination, effective protection of intellectual property and equitable sharing of intellectual property rights.

8. In the context of the renewal of the Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation associating Israel with the Framework Programme, the new Agreement has simply been adapted to the specific features of the 6th Framework Programme, namely:

participation of Israel in all the instruments of the 6th Framework Programme concerning indirect actions, including the instrument concerning the application of Article 169 of the EC Treaty;

participation of Israeli representatives as observers in the CREST Committee (without voting rights). It should be noted that the participation of Israeli representatives in the other committees implementing the Framework Programme - advisory committees, expert committees and comitology committees (as observers) - was already provided for in the earlier Agreement;

intellectual property rules extended to cover reciprocity and the instrument concerning the application of Article 169;

provisional application of the agreement (at the time of signature) with the effective date set at 16 December 2002 to enable Israeli legal entities to participate right from the start of the 6th Framework Programme so that the European and Israeli scientific communities can make the most of this participation;

lastly, the financial participation conditions of Israel with the 6th Framework Programme are identical to those relating to its association with the fifth framework programme.

9. In the light of the above considerations, the Commission proposes that the Council should:

approve the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the European Community and the State of Israel on behalf of the European Community after consulting the European Parliament;

notify the Israeli authorities that the procedures necessary for the entry into force of the Agreement have been completed by the European Community.

Brussels, 29.09.2003 COM(2003)568 final 2003/0220 (CNS)

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