Provisional Version Competitiveness Council of 3 Dec. (Stem Cell Research)

December 4, 2003

Brussels, 03 Dec 2003

The Council examined a text put forward by the Presidency, following the Council's deliberations at its meeting on 26 November, on the establishment of implementing provisions for Community funding of research projects involving the use of human embryos and human embryonic stem cells.

At the end of the discussion, the President concluded that no agreement could be reached either on the Commission's amended proposal or on the Presidency text. The Commission, for its part, could not support the Presidency text.

It is recalled that last year, at the time of adoption of the Specific Research Programmes under the EC's 6th Research Framework Programme (2003-2006), the Council and the Commission agreed by means of a political declaration that detailed implementing provisions concerning research activities involving the use of human embryos and human embryonic stem cells which may be funded under the 6th Framework Programme should be established by 31 December 2003. The Commission stated that, during that period ("moratorium") and pending establishment of the detailed implementing provisions, it will not propose to fund such research, with the exception of the study of banked or isolated human embryonic stem cells in culture.

The Commission presented on 9 July a proposal for amending the specific research programme concerned in which it proposed that the funding provided by the 6th Research Framework Programme for the derivation of new stem cells would only be made available if proposals successfully pass a rigorous scientific and ethical review and that the human embryos used for the procurement of stem cells must have been created before June 2002 as a result of medically- assisted in vitro fertilisation designed to induce pregnancy, and were no longer to be used for that purpose. The Commission amended its proposal in the light of the opinion given by the European Parliament in November. EN The Presidency text suggested that no Community funding may be provided for the procurement of new stem cells or stem cell lines from embryos. Nevertheless, research projects using embryonic stem cells would be eligible for Community funding, on condition that these stem cells come from existing stem cell lines that were created prior to the "cut-off" date of 3 December 2003.

[Agenda item 2. Amended proposal for a Council Decision amending the specific programme for RTD "Integrating and strengthening the European research area" (stem cell research) (2002-2006)(LA)(*)
(Legal basis proposed by the Commission: Article 166(4) of the EC Treaty)
- political agreement
15385/03 RECH 238
15495/03 RECH 244 + REV 1]


Item source: http://ue.eu.int/pressData/en/intm/78186.pdf

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