Brussels, 14 Dec 2004
Proposal for a
COUNCIL DECISION on the conclusion of the Agreement for scientific and technological co-operation between the European Community and the United Mexican States
1. The Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement1 between the European Community and its Member States of the one part and the United Mexican States (hereinafter: Mexico) of the other part, entered into force on 1 October 2000. Article 29, paragraph5 of this Agreement identified cooperation on science and technology as an area of particular interest and potential.
2. In its communication of 19 July 1996 entitled "Promoting RTD cooperation with the world's emerging economies" (COM(96) 344 final) the Commission stressed the benefits of negotiating agreements for scientific and technological cooperation with countries with emerging economies. In its resolution of 14 March 1997 on the above mentioned communication, the European Parliament "calls on the Commission to negotiate, with due regard for the circumstances in each country, bilateral agreements establishing a legal framework for the promotion of RTD cooperation".
The strengthening of scientific and technological cooperation with these countries has been reaffirmed in the Commission's communication entitled "The international dimension of the European Research Area" ( COM/2001/346 final).
3. On 22 January 2002, the Ambassador of Mexico to the EU presented Mexico's official request to enter into negotiations with the European Community with a view to concluding a specific agreement for scientific and technological cooperation.
4. On 12 July 2002, the Council authorized the Commission to negotiate an Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation between the European Community and Mexico. The negotiations resulted in the attached Agreement, initialed on 2 April 2003 in Mexico and signed on 3 February 2004.
5. The Agreement was negotiated against the background of an upgraded and intensifying co-operation between Mexico and the European Union, considering the importance of science and technology for economic and social development and the mutual wish to extend and strengthen the conduct of co-operative activities in areas of common interest, as diverse as:
­ research on the environment and climate, including Earth observation,
­ biomedical and health research,
­ agriculture, forestry and fisheries,
­ industrial and manufacturing technologies,
­ research on electronics, materials and metrology,
­ non-nuclear energy,
­ information society technologies,
­ research on economic and social development,
OJ L6, 28.10.2000, p. 44 ­ biotechnologies,
­ aeronautics and space research and applied research; and
­ science and technology policy.
On 18 July 2003, the Commission submitted to the Council a proposal for a Council Decision authorising the signing of the abovementioned agreement. The Council adopted this decision on 20 October 2003 and the attached agreement and the annexes thereto were signed on 3 February 2004.
6. The Agreement is based on the principles of mutual benefit, reciprocal opportunities for access to each other's programmes and activities relevant to the purpose of the Agreement, non-discrimination, the effective protection of intellectual property and equitable sharing of intellectual property rights. It shall be concluded for an initial period of five years and may be tacitly renewed after full evaluation, based on the results, during the penultimate year of each successive five-year period.
7. The Agreement provides for:
­ establishment of networks and long-term institutional alliances between research centres and research and technology institutes and joint implementation of projects of common interest;
­ implementation of RTD projects between research and business centres in Mexico and Europe, including technology-based companies;
­ participation of Mexican research institutes in RTD projects under the existing framework programme and reciprocal participation of research institutes established in the Community in Mexican projects in similar sectors of RTD. Such a participation shall be subject to the rules and procedures applicable in RTD programmes of each Party;
­ visits and exchanges of scientists, RTD policy-makers and technical experts, including scientific training through research ;
­ joint organisation of scientific seminars, conferences, symposia and workshops, as well as participation of experts in such activities;