Brussels, 25 November 2005
The EU Competitiveness Council will meet in Brussels on Monday 28th and Tuesday 29th November starting at 10.00 on Monday under the chairmanship of Alan Johnson, United Kingdom Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. The European Commission will be represented by Vice President Günter Verheugen, responsible for Enterprise and Industry, Charlie McCreevy, Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, Stravos Dimas, Commissioner for Environment and Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for Science and Research.
Monday 28th November
7th Framework Programme for Research
On FP7, the Council is expected to achieve substantial progress by adopting a Partial General Approach (first formal position of the Council) on the Commission proposal of 6 April 2005. The Council should reach a high level of consensus on the Commission proposal.
Commission Communication: More Research and innovation – Investing for Growth and Employment: A Common Approach
The Council is also expected to adopt conclusions on more research and innovation, without major debate. This communication is the first comprehensive overview of actions in all EU policy areas related to research and innovation.
Working Lunch of Research Ministers 28 November.
During this lunch the Council will discuss the follow-up to the Hampton Court informal European Council concerning R&D. Three questions are to be tackled in the discussion are: how to improve public R&D funding in order to increase leverage effect on private R&D, how to stimulate demand for research and innovation and how to ensure Europe develops and takes advantage of the best researchers."
In the afternoon the third meeting of the Space Council will be held and will be co-chaired by European Space Agency. On 14th November 2005 the Commission launched a pilot phase of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) a new monitoring system to deal with natural disasters. Natural and manmade catastrophes in Europe, America, Asia and Africa, coupled with increased security needs, have further reinforced the case for improved monitoring systems.
The European Commission has come forward with plans to introduce the first three earth observation services concerning emergency management, land and marine monitoring. After GALILEO, the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) has become the second EU flagship in space policy. It will gather relevant data, for example concerning environmental pollution, floods, forest fires or earthquakes in support of public policy makers’ needs. GMES will ensure that crisis situations can be better anticipated and managed. It can provide the foundation for evidence-based environmental policy making, as well as the information required to ameliorate its effects on citizens.
The Council will discuss the Commission Communication ‘Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) and is expected to adopt orientations on the basis of the Commission’s Communication. In addition the Council will have a first discussion on international cooperation in the context of the future Space Policy.
On 7th November the Commission adopted a new industrial policy to create the conditions for manufacturing to thrive. The new EU industrial policy will complement work at Member State level to support a strong and dynamic industrial base. It includes seven new cross-sectoral initiatives – on competitiveness, energy and the environment, on intellectual property rights, on better regulation, on industrial research and innovation, on market access, on skills, and on managing structural change - which will benefit a wide range of industry sectors. In addition, the Commission brought forward seven new initiatives targeted at specific sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, defense and information and communication technologies. The focus is on investment in skills and equipping people for change. This industrial policy aims to support adaptability and structural change to boost the competitiveness of EU manufacturing, especially in the light of increasingly strong competition from China and Asia. This is an important step in the delivery of the new Lisbon “Partnership for Growth and Jobs”. .At the informal dinner on Monday evening Ministers will discuss industrial policy on the basis of the Commission Communication. The Presidency will present its conclusions to the Council on Tuesday morning when there will be an exchange of views.
Tuesday 29th November
Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme
At the Council meeting held on 11 May 2005 in Brussels, Ministers had a first exchange of views on the Competitive and Innovation Framework Programme which was proposed by the Commission in March this year. This proposal has an emphasis on targeting SMEs and the aim of enabling them to have access to innovation. The CIP has a budget of €4.213 billion for the period 2007 – 2013 and will support actions that develop the capacity of enterprise and industry to innovate. Whilst building on tried and tested programmes, CIP also includes many new elements such as: