Research and education: extract from Presidency report on Lisbon Strategy

June 19, 2002

Brussels, 18 June 2002

Report in full: Giving fresh impetus to the Lisbon Strategy: Progress towards fulfilling the remits adopted by the Barcelona European Council. Report from Presidency to European Council (Seville, 21/22 June 2002). Brussels, 14 June 2002 (document 9909/02 POLGEN 24). Full text

III. A competitive economy based on knowledge

Research

The European Council called for the 6th Research Framework programme to be adopted by June 2002 (§ 46). It furthermore invited the Council to reach a common political approach on the Community patent at its meeting in May (§ 47, 3rd indent). Finally, it asked the Council to examine before June 2002 the Commission's communication "Life Sciences and Biotechnology" (§ 48).

Following an agreement with the European Parliament at the 2nd reading state, the Sixth Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (both EC and EURATOM) was adopted at the Council on 3 June. Work on the implementing provisions and on the specific RTD programmes is well advanced.

Progress has been made on the Community patent, with the Council (Internal Market) agreeing at its meeting on 21 May 2002 to regard the common political approach proposed by the Chair as the basis for continued work, on the understanding that nothing was finally agreed until everything had been agreed. The common political approach sets out the main principles and features of four key aspects of the Community patent system: the role of national patent offices, languages and costs, distribution of fees and the jurisdictional system.

The Commission's communication "Life sciences and biotechnology ­ a strategy for Europe", tabled in March, was examined by the Council (Industry) on 6 June. The latter considered the communication as a useful basis for a balanced, coherent and effective framework for exploiting the full potential of biotechnology and invited the Commission to cooperate closely with the Council to establish a road map of practical measures and to set a timetable for their implementation, with a view to allowing the Council to have an in-depth discussion on this issue during the second semester of 2003.

Education

The European Council called on the Commission to report to Seville on the feasibility of, and the options for, establishing internet twinning links between secondary schools and partner schools elsewhere in Europe (§ 44, 3rd indent). It also invited the Council to adopt a resolution on Lifelong Learning before Seville (§ 45).

The Commission's report on using the internet to develop twinning between European secondary schools was adopted on 6 June and sent to the Council shortly thereafter. In it, the Commission inter alia re-affirms the goal of providing all secondary schools, before the end of 2006, with the option of setting up twinning links via the internet to enable them to become involved in joint educational programmes. The Council's preparatory bodies will begin examining the report after the Seville European Council.

The Council (Education and Youth) on 30 May approved a Resolution on education and lifelong learning. The resolution addresses a series of concrete invitations to the Member States and the Commission and calls on the latter to prepare, in cooperation with the Member States, a progress report on the follow-up to the Resolution and to its Communication "Making a European Area of Lifelong Learning a Reality" before the 2004 Spring European Council.

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