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The Fifth Framework Programme, adopted on 22nd December 1998, defines the Community activities in the field of research, technological development and demonstration (hereafter referred to as "RTD") for the period 1998-2002.

The Fifth Framework Programme differs from its predecessors. It has been conceived to help solve problems and to respond to major socio-economic challenges facing the European Union. It focuses on a limited number of objectives and areas combining technological, industrial, economic, social and cultural aspects.

Priorities have been chosen according to three basic principles which apply for all levels: the Framework Programme as a whole, the Specific Programmes implementing it and the RTD activities covered by those programmes.

  • European "value added" and the subsidiarity principle , for example, to reach a critical mass or contribute to solving problems of a European dimension,

  • Social objectives , such as quality of life, employment or protection of the environment in order to meet the expectations and concerns of the Union's citizens,

  • Economic development and scientific and technological prospects in order to contribute to the harmonious and sustainable development of the European Union as a whole.

Further information on the Common Set of Criteria for FP5

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