Scientific and Technical Research (COST) Legal, Administrative and Financial (JAF) Meeting 15/16 February 2006, Agenda Item 7 - Reform of the COST Governance (link)

February 6, 2006

Brussels, 03 Feb 2006

Full text of Document 205/06
Suite of documents 205/06

Subject: JAF meeting 15/16 February 2006, agenda item 7
- Reform of the COST governance

Delegations will find attached a discussion paper from the CSO President on further reforms of COST governance with a view to the next JAF meeting on 15/16 February 2006.

Delegations, in particular those not represented at the JAF meeting, are kindly requested to send their comments on the paper, if any, to the Secretariat by 10 February 2006 at the latest.


1. Ministerial Conferences

COST Ministerial Conferences are normally held every five years organised by the COST Secretariat with input from the CSO and the COST Office. This would ensure national control of COST and to make COST visible in the ERA. Each Conference would be the occasion for the endorsement of high strategic decisions on COST's role in the ERA and receipt of the CSO's report.

The CSO is invited to approve this proposal at the meeting in March 2006.

The next COST Ministerial Conference could take place in March 2008, possibly in the context of the informal Competitiveness Council meeting during Slovenia's EU Presidency, ideally during the afternoon of the first day to assure a good presence of Ministers.

The COST Secretariat is invited to explore this possibility and report to the CSO in due course.

2. Overall Memorandum of Understanding

Each Conference should be the occasion for the ceremonial renewal of an overall COST Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The overall MoU would replace the signing of each single Action. New Actions would be approved by the COST National Coordinators when nominating the national representatives to the Management Committee of an Action approved by the CSO.

The CSO is invited to express its opinion on the above proposal in March 2006 and invite the COST Secretariat and the COST Office to present a proposal of an overall MoU for the June 2006 meeting.

3. Committee of Senior Officials (CSO)

Each CSO meeting is divided in two parts: Governance and Strategy.

The Governance part will normally be dealt with during the first day and divided in: Information and Approval. The CSO will continue to govern COST and to stay abreast of developments taking place in each scientific community, reflected in particular in the nature, content and number of Actions being submitted to COST. The CSO will be informed of the content of the new Actions proposed, proceed to their approval and be informed of the results of the Actions completed.

The Strategy part, normally dealt with during the second day, allows the CSO to be a truly strategic body, setting overall strategic and political goals, and determining COST's role in the ERA and the


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