Report on the Meeting of the Committee of Senior Officials for European Co-operation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research (COST)

February 20, 2004

Skopje, 16/17 February 2004

At the invitation of the government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia the COST Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) held its 158th meeting in Skopje. The meeting was chaired by Mr Gösta DIEHL, Director at the National Technology Agency of Finland (TEKES).

The welcoming address was given by Mr Aziz POLOZANI, Minister of Education and Science, who underlined the importance of hosting the meeting for the first time in Skopje, which would contribute to the overall effort of his government towards further association and integration into European structures.

CSO elects a new President for 2004-2007

The Committee elected unanimously Professor Francesco FEDI as its new President for the next three years. Professor FEDI, who will take office after the next Committee meeting in May, will be the successor to Mr Gösta DIEHL, who has chaired the Committee since 1998.

1 COST is the oldest and widest European intergovernmental network for cooperation in research. FYR of Macedonia joined COST in 2002 and is the newest of the 35 European Member States participating in COST. Further information on COST can be found on the website:

It is the first time that Italy - one of the founders of the COST Cooperation - assumes the Presidency of the Committee.

Professor Fedi was born in Rome, Italy, in 1939. He received the Dr.Ing. degree from the University of Rome in 1963 and the Master of Science degree in the USA in 1966. He has been involved in COST activities since the very beginning, chaired two of the first COST Actions, served as the Chair of the COST Technical Committee "Telecommunications, Information Science and Technology (TIST) and has in the recent years been an active Member of the CSO.

Further impetus to Balkan initiative

With a view to the conclusions reached at the Thessaloniki European Council on further integration of the Balkan States into European structures, and following the Committee's decision at its previous meeting to allow for financial support in order to intensify the involvement of Balkan States in the frame of COST, the Committee welcomed the initiative from the hosting state to invite representatives from Albania to attend the meeting as observers with a view to a possible application for membership.

COST launches four new Actions

The Committee agreed in principle to the launching of the following new COST Actions:

(a) Environment

COST 635 :INTERCAFE: Conserving Biodiversity ­ Interdisciplinary Initiative to Reduce pan-European Cormorant-Fisheries Conflicts (UK proposal)

The main objective of the Action is to improve European scientific knowledge of cormorant- fisheries interactions in the contexts of the interdisciplinary management of human:wildlife conflicts and of sound policy formation, so as to inform policy decisions at local to international levels across Europe and to deliver a coordinated information exchange system and improved communication between all stakeholders.

(b) Agriculture and Biotechnology

COST 860: Sustainable low-input cereal production: required varietal characteristics and crop diversity (Danish proposal)

The main objective of the Action is to establish methods for selecting varieties, lines and populations, and to develop ways to increase and make use of crop diversity and genotype-environment interactions to ensure stable and acceptable yields of good-quality crops for low input, especially organic cereal production in Europe.

(c) Forestry

COST E 43: Harmonisation of National Inventories in Europe: Techniques for Common Reporting (Finnish proposal)

The main objective of the Action is to improve and harmonise the existing national forest resource inventories in Europe.

COST E 44: Wood Processing Strategy (Belgian proposal)

The main objective of the Action is to increase the knowledge required to create a wood processing strategy in Europe.

COST extends duration of seven Actions

The Committee agreed to extend the duration of the following ongoing COST Actions:

  • COST C 8: Best Practice in Sustainable Urban Infrastructure (6 months)
  • COST 347: Pavement Research with Accelerated Loading Testing Facilities (8 months)
  • COST 349: Accessibility of Coaches and Long Distance Buses for People with Reduced Mobility (6 months)
  • COST 841: Biological and Biochemical diversity of hydrogen metabolism (12 months)
  • COST E24: Reliability of timber structures (12 months)
  • COST 626: European Aquatic Modelling Network (12 months)
  • COST D18: Lanthanide Chemistry for Diagnosis and Therapy (18 months)

Three non-COST Institutes to participate in COST Action

The Committee agreed to the requests from

  • - Cosmic Ray Division, Yerevan Physics Institute, Armenia
  • - Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
  • - Lviv Centre of Institute of Space Research, Ukraine
to participate in COST Action 724: "Developing the scientific basis for monitoring, modelling and predicting Space Weather".

Next CSO meeting in Norway

On invitation by the Norwegian delegation, the 159th meeting of the Senior Officials Committee will take place in Bergen on - 28 May 2004.

For further information call the COST Secretariat at 285.68.96/79.14

Item source: .pdf

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