Brussels, 13 Feb 2004
Subject: JAF Group meeting held in Brussels on 30 January 2004
1. ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
The Group adopted the Agenda, as set out in CM 92/04 of 9 January 2004.
2. SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING (COST 303/03)
The Group approved the Summary of Conclusions of the JAF meeting of 17 November 2003 as set out in doc. COST 303/03.
3. PROGRESS REPORT ON THE COST OFFICE
The Group was informed that
- The COST Office had moved to its new premises in Tour Louise and was operational as from 5 January 2004.
- A list of current staff with contact information was made available to delegations (the list can be found at: http://cost.cordis.lu/src/doc/Cost_Offic e_telephone_and_email_list.xls).
- A new Scientific Officer for the TIST area had been appointed following the advice of an interview panel of which the TC Chair and another representative of TC TIST had been members. The new Scientific Officer would take office in March. Interviews for the other three vacancies (Agriculture, Biotechnology and Food Sciences; Physics and Materials; Social Sciences and Humanities) would take place within the coming weeks. The administrative personnel for the Office had been recruited, with a few vacancies still outstanding.
- Chairs of the Management Committees had received a letter encouraging them to use the instruments available (MC meetings, Working Group Meetings, Workshops and Conferences, STSMs and publication support). The use of STSMs had been emphasised as a priority within Actions at the new maximum of 2000 per mission. A copy of the letter was made available to delegations.
- The pre-financing for the first part of the contract between the ESF and the Commission had been paid to the ESF account on 3 January 2004.
- Following the negotiations for the bank guarantee, the COST Office had the contractual obligation to report to the Commission after 6 months and thereafter every three months. These reports would be made available to the CSO.
The Italian delegation welcomed the involvement of TC Chairs in the recruitment process. He advocated that TC Chairs should be informed as soon as possible on the budgets available in their respective areas.
The CSO Chair stated his intention to initiate discussions with the Commission, at the highest level, concerning its future role in COST immediately after the next CSO meeting, in co- operation with the new President-Elect. A brief exchange of views was held on which level the contact should take place (political or administrative).
The Danish delegation reiterated its proposal at the last CSO meeting to establish a small 'reflection group' to start preparing for COST's position in FP7.
3. DRAFT GUIDANCE FOR RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE CSO (COST 295/2/03 REV 2)
The CSO Chair proposed to the Group to reconsider the title of the document and proposed to use the term "Working methods", which had been introduced by the Council of the EU in view of modified procedures that took into account the effects of the Union's enlargement.
Comments on the document COST 295/2/03 REV 2 had been received within the set deadline from the Spanish delegation. The Italian delegation circulated its comments to delegations at the meeting.
Several delegations that participated in the discussion stated that an agreement on the draft document had been reached at the last CSO meeting in Bratislava and the text should therefore not be reopened.
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