Brussels, 25 July 2006
47th Council Meeting - Competitiveness (Internal Market, Industry and Research). Brussels, 24 July 2006
The Council reached, by qualified majority, a political agreement on the 7th framework programme (FP7) of the European Community (EC) for research and technological development for the period 2007 to 2013. On the basis of the agreement, the Council will establish its common position and will forward it to the European Parliament for a second reading, according to the co-decision procedure. The Austrian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish and Slovakian delegations voted against.
The Council also reached a unanimous political agreement on the FP7 of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for nuclear research activities for 2007 to 2011.
The debate took place in public deliberation on the basis of a compromise text elaborated by the presidency. It focused on research activities involving human embryonic stem cells under the framework programme.
The text of the agreement clarifies the parameters under which research projects involving human embryos and human embryonic stem cells will be eligible for Community funding. Certain fields of research, such as activities aimed at human cloning for reproductive purposes or intended to modify the genetic heritage of human beings, will not be eligible for Community funding. In addition the Commission confirmed that it will continue with the current practice and will not submit to the Regulatory Committee proposals for projects which include research activities which destroy human embryos, including for the procurement of stem cells. The exclusion of funding of this step of research will not prevent Community funding of subsequent steps involving human embryonic stem cells.
FP7 (EC) will be implemented through specific programmes, corresponding to the main themes of European research policy:
- "Cooperation": on collaborative research;
- "Ideas": which includes the establishment of a European Research Council;
- "People": for human resources; and
- "Capacities": dealing with the potential research capacities of EU small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The text also contains an indicative breakdown of spending among the programmes (in EUR million - current prices):
Cooperation - 32365
Health - 6050
Food, agriculture and biotechnology - 1935
Information and communication technologies - 9110
Nano-sciences, nano-technologies, materials and new production technologies - 3500
Energy - 2300
Environment (including climate change) - 1900
Transport (including aeronautics) - 4180
Socio-economic sciences and the humanities - 610
Space - 1430
Security - 1350
Ideas - 7460
People - 4728
Capacities - 4217
Research infrastructures - 1850
Research for the benefit of SMEs - 1336
Regions of knowledge - 126
Research potential - 370
Science in society - 280
Coherent development of research policies - 70
Activities of international cooperation - 185
Non-nuclear actions of the Joint Research Centre - 1751
TOTAL - 50521
Discussions on FP7 (Euratom) concentrated on scientific priorities of the EU's Joint Research Centre (JRC) actions, notably as regards nuclear safety. The JRC will contribute and co-ordinate the European contribution to the Generation IV initiative. It will contribute exclusively to those areas that can improve safety and safeguard aspects of innovative fuel cycles.
The draft Euratom programme is set out in two specific programmes: the first covers fusion energy research and nuclear fission and radiation protection, and the second covers the activities of the JRC in the field of nuclear energy. It will get an allocation of EUR 2.7 billion for five years. An important part of the budget will contribute to financing the ITER international project on fusion energy.
The specific programmes and the rules for the participation of undertakings, research centres and universities in actions under FP7 are integral part of the FP7 legislative package. These will be decided on at a later stage.
News release 11554/06 (Presse 215)