Draft summary conclusions of the 280th meeting of the Scientific and Technical Research Committee (CREST), held in Brussels on 22 and 23 November 2001. Note to CREST delegations. Brussels, 21 December 2001 (document CREST 1215/01). Full text
.... 3. PRESENTATION OF THE JRC ACTIVITIES AND ITS ROLE IN THE ERA
The Committee heard presentations by the Chairman of the JRC Board of Governors, Mr. Fernando ALDANA, and by the Director General of the JRC, Mr. Barry Mc SWEENEY. Mr. ALDANA presented the role and activities of the JRC's Board of Governors and underlined the recent reorganisation of its working method, namely the establishment of four working groups (Strategy and finance; Energy; Environment and sustainability; and Food, Chemicals and Health).
Mr. Mc SWEENEY gave a presentation of the JRC's mission and activities, with special emphasis on its role supporting Community policies and its place in the context of the ERA, as well as the user-driven approach.
Mr. Mc SWEENEY also pointed out that the percentage of administrative costs (21%) in the JRC budget constitutes a better performance than the European average and that the percentage of technical support costs (15%) in the JRC budget corresponds to specific tasks such as running nuclear facilities and informatics. Mr.Mc SWEENEY emphasised the importance of networking; all research implemented by the JRC is done in collaboration with national establishments and is evaluated either through peer review or peer acceptance.
Delegations welcomed the renewed vision and purpose evident in the reforms undertaken by the new management of the JRC, with the collaborative approach adopted with respect to the development of the ERA.
4. INFORMATION FROM THE PRESIDENCY AND THE COMMISSION
a) Mr. DEWINT (Belgian Presidency) informed the Committee about the progress achieved by the "Research" Council on 30 October, in view of securing a political agreement on the 6th EC and Euratom Framework Programmes at the next Council on 10 December. Apart from the Framework Programmes, the Council will adopt a resolution on a strategy in favour of the mobility of researchers, and consider Commission communications on an "Action plan on Science and Society", and on European space policy. A Belgian Presidency information note on science, technology and innovation in the media will also be presented.
The Chairman, Dr. MITSOS, also gave a short explanation on the state of affairs with regard to European space policy and the coordination of efforts between the Commission and the European Space Agency.
b) Mr.DAMIANI (Commission services) informed the Committee about the results of the first reading of the Framework Programme proposals by the European Parliament. The opinion, adopted by Parliament with a large majority on the basis of the CAUDRON report, contains a substantial endorsement of the Commission's proposals (including those on the budget) and a high degree of convergence with the views expressed by Council. The Commission adopted on 22 November a revised Framework proposal which takes into account about 75% of the European Parliament's amendments.
c) Mr DAMIANI (Commission services) also informed the Committee on the state of work concerning the 2001 Annual Report on the research and technological development activities of the European Union, due to be formally adopted by the Commission at the end of November.
d) In response to questions raised by delegations, the Chairman informed the Committee about the following points:
* EURAB: the meeting announced at the last CREST took place; work is continuing on the setting up of a Work Programme, with the next meeting scheduled for 13 December;
* Model contracts: invitations have been sent to Member States and candidate countries associated to the Framework programme to nominate experts for a meeting to take place in early 2002. The Commission is reflecting on how to involve the other associated states;
* Rules of Participation (Art.167 EC-Treaty): the Commission will study possible ways of taking account of the views of associated states on this important component of EC research policy.
The Commission will report its conclusions on these points to the next meeting of CREST.
e) The Chairman concluded by stressing the importance of reaching a political agreement on the Framework programmes at the 10 December Council. On a suggestion from delegations, the Chairman also agreed to include a discussion on the Annual report 2001 at the next CREST meeting.
5. PREPARATION OF THE CREST OPINION ON THE SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL CONTENT OF THE THEMATIC PRIORITIES COVERED BY THE COMMISSION'S PROPOSALS FOR THE SPECIFIC PROGRAMMES
The Committee discussed the draft opinion text presented by the rapporteurs, Ms. MONFRET and Ms. ACHESON.
After discussion of the revised draft, which took into account delegation's views expressed during the meeting, the Committee reached agreement on the text of the Opinion1.
The D delegation emphasized that the adoption of this Opinion does not conclude the discussion on the detailed scope of thematic priority, and that additional analysis will be needed on the right scope of biotechnology under this priority, which should also comprise biotechnological approaches to foster safety, healthier and more sustainable industrial products and processes.
The Chairman and the Committee thanked the two rapporteurs for their excellent work.
6. CREST ROLE ON MONITORING AND EVALUATION:
Mme DE BOISSEZON (Commission services) informed the Committee about developments since the discussion at the 9th CREST on 19 October 2001.
Following the discussion, the Chairman concluded that
* CREST welcomes and accepts the proposal of the chairman of the former CREST Evaluation Sub-Committee, Mr. Timo KEKKONEN, to continue work on this dossier in the capacity of rapporteur for CREST on Evaluation;
* CREST welcomes the paper on evaluation submitted by the Commission services, which requires further study; Delegations are invited to send their comments and to nominate candidates for the Network to support the rapporteur; the CREST Secretariat will send out a separate invitation by e-mail
* CREST will return to the matter at one of its next meetings.
7. CREST WORK PROGRAMME FOR THE FIRST HALF OF 2002
The Spanish delegation, in its capacity as incoming Presidency, presented a draft work programme for the first half of 2002.
Following an exchange of views, a revised work programme was adopted (see Annex [not present in document]).