Brussels, 26 Sep 2005
Proposal for a
COUNCIL DECISION concerning the Specific Programme to be carried out by means of direct actions by the Joint Research Centre implementing the 7th Framework Programme (2007-2011) of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for nuclear research and training activities
1. CONTEXT OF THE PROPOSALS
The Commission adopted its proposal1 for the 7th Framework Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for nuclear research and training activities (2007 to 2011) on 6 April 2005. The Commission indicated that the activities were to be organised in two Specific Programmes corresponding to "indirect" actions on fusion energy research and nuclear fission and radiation protection and the "direct" research activities of the Joint Research Centre in the field of nuclear energy, and these are the subject of the present proposals. The Commission will be presenting proposals for the associated "Rules for Participation and Dissemination".
The policy context and objectives are those set out in the Communication "Building the ERA of knowledge for growth"2.
The Specific Programmes of the 7th Euratom Framework Programme are designed to address, in combination with the necessary national and industrial efforts, the major issues and challenges in this field of research in Europe.
Financial support at a European level offers opportunities to increase the excellence and effectiveness of research in a way that cannot be achieved at national level. The Specific Programmes of the 7th Euratom Framework Programme represent further consolidation of the European Research Area in this sector, achieving critical mass and structures in new areas of research and by new means, and further supporting the free movement of ideas, knowledge and researchers.
Throughout the implementation of the Specific Programmes, the potential for European level actions to strengthen excellence in research will be utilised to the maximum. This implies identifying and supporting existing excellence in this field wherever it exists across the European Union as well as creating capacities for future research excellence.
Where possible, the impact of the Specific Programmes will be enhanced through complementarities with other Community programmes, such as the Structural Funds. This is in conformity with the approach to be followed in the EC Capacities Specific Programme, since an important aspect of the Euratom Specific Programme for indirect actions will also be the support for research infrastructures, though in this case in the specific area of nuclear science and technology.
2. PRIOR CONSULTATION
In the preparation of current proposals, as for the Framework Programme, the Commission has taken into account the views expressed by the other EU institutions and the Member States, as well as by many stakeholders in a broad consultation, including the scientific community and industry. In addition, the Specific Programme proposals draw from the in- depth impact assessment undertaken for the 7th Framework Programme proposal3 and the outcome of the five year assessment of the Framework Programme4.
3. LEGAL ASPECTS
The present Specific Programme proposals cover the same period as the Framework Programme, 2007-2011, which in turn is based on Article 7 of the Euratom Treaty. In accordance with this Article, second paragraph, research programmes are drawn up for a period of not more than five years. Hence, the present proposals are not for the same duration as the EC Specific Programmes.
The Commission proposes that, unless extenuating circumstances arise, these Specific Programmes will be renewed for the period 2012-2013, in accordance with the foreseen legislative procedure.
4. BUDGETARY IMPLEMENTATION
The "legislative financial statement" attached to this Decision sets out the budgetary implications and the human and administrative resources, and also provides indicative figures for the period 2012-2013.
The Commission intends to set up an executive agency which will be entrusted with certain tasks required to implement the specific programme of indirect actions5.
5. A COHERENT AND FLEXIBLE IMPLEMENTATION
5.1. Adapting to new needs and opportunities
It is vital that the implementation of the Specific Programmes is sufficiently flexible to enable them to remain at the forefront of scientific and technological developments in the nuclear field in general and to respond to emerging industrial, policy or societal needs. For the indirect actions, this will be achieved primarily through the work programmes which will be updated on an annual basis with the assistance of the committees of Member State representatives and identify the topics for calls for proposals to be launched. Revisions may be made more rapidly in case of new priorities requiring an urgent response, in particular arising from unforeseen policy needs.
This multi-annual programming will benefit from a wide range of inputs to ensure that the activities supported maintain direct relevance to the evolving research needs of industry and
SEC(2005) 430. COM(2005) 387 . Article 54.2 (a) of the Financial Regulation (EC, Euratom) allows the Commission to entrust tasks of public authority to executive agencies. However, Council Regulation (EC) No 58/2003 laying down the statute for the executive agencies to be entrusted with certain tasks in the management of Community