Brussels, 18 May 2004
The Council had an exchange of views on the Commission proposals on the admission of third- country nationals to carry out scientific research in the EC. Delegations intervened on the proposed Directive and two Recommendations in order to provide key messages from the competitiveness point of view, to be taken into account in the detailed examination of the proposals by the Justice and Home Affairs Council.
The Council warmly welcomed the objectives of the proposals which will contribute significantly to the creation of the European Research Area and to the European competitiveness in general.
It noted its relevance for Europe's performance within the Lisbon process, in which context the Commission has argued that 700 000 additional researchers are needed in Europe by 2010, and for the Barcelona 3 % GDP target spent of EU budget.
Further work on the proposals was required, in particular in relation to the role and responsibilities of the host organisation and to the need to assure a fast procedure for entry of third-country researchers and their families into the Community.