Brussels, Sep 2006
Subject: Common position adopted by the Council on 25 September 2006 with a view to the adoption of a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013)
STATEMENT OF THE COUNCIL'S REASONS
1. On 15 April 2005, the Commission submitted to the European Parliament and the Council its proposals for a Decision of the European Parliament and the Council concerning the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013), and for a Council Decision concerning the 7th Framework programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for nuclear research and training activities (2007-2011)1.
2. This proposal is based on Article 166(1) of the EC Treaty.
3. The Economic and Social Committee delivered its opinion on 15 December 20052. The Committee of the Regions delivered its opinion on 17 November 20053.
4. The European Parliament delivered its opinion on the proposal on 15 June 20064.
5. The Council adopted its common position on the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013) on 25 September 2006, in accordance with Article 251 of the Treaty.5
II. BACKGROUND AND AIM OF THE PROPOSAL
a) Pursuant to Title XVIII of the EC Treaty (Articles 163 173), the Community will carry out activities on research and technological development. In particular:
- pursuant to Article 163(1) TEC, the Community shall have the objective of strengthening the scientific and technological bases of Community industry and encouraging it to become more competitive at international level, while promoting all the research activities deemed necessary by virtue of other Chapters of this Treaty;
- pursuant to Article 165(1) TEC, the Community and the Member States shall coordinate their research and technological development activities so as to ensure that national policies and Community policy are mutually consistent;
- pursuant to Article 166(1) TEC, all research and technological development activities of the Community shall be set out in a multiannual Framework Programme (the current Sixth Framework Programme expires at the end of 2006).
b) The European Councils in Lisbon in March 2000, Santa Maria de Feira in June 2000 and Stockholm in March 2001 adopted conclusions aimed at the rapid establishment of a European research and innovation area (ERA) with a view to the EU becoming by 2010 the world's most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy capable of sustainable economic growth, with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion. The re-launch of the Lisbon Strategy undertaken in 2005, and the report of the high-level group of independent expert chaired by Esko Aho, which was mandated by the European Heads of State and Government meeting at Hampton Courts, confirmed the validity of the strategy with regard to scientific research, technological development and innovation.
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