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Article 185 Initiatives

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About Article 185 Initiatives

About Article 185 TFEU (ex Article 169 TEC) Initiatives

The Concept

Article 185 TFEU (ex Article 169 TEC) states that:
"In implementing the multiannual framework programme, the Union may make provision, in agreement with the Member States concerned, for participation in research and development programmes undertaken by several Member States, including participation in the structures created for the execution of those programmes."
In practical terms, Article 185 TFEU foresees the participation of the EU in the joint implementation of (parts of) research and development national programmes.
Implementing Article 185 TFEU in the Seventh Framework Programme implies that the participating EU Member States integrate their research efforts by defining and committing themselves to a joint research programme, in which the EU promotes the voluntary integration of scientific, managerial and financial aspects. The EU provides financial support to the joint implementation of the (parts of the) national research programmes involved, based on a joint programme and the setting-up of a dedicated implementation structure.


Is there a life before an Article 185 TFEU (ex Article 169 TEC) initiative?

Article 185 TFEU (ex Article 169 TEC) initiatives build on the ERA-NET scheme , which aims to develop and strengthen the coordination of national and regional research programmes through two specific actions, 'ERA-NET actions' and 'ERA-NET Plus actions'. This scheme facilitates the possibility for national programmes to test their capacity to integrate further, in some cases up to the stage where an Article 185 TFEU  initiative could be contemplated.

Identification criteria for Article 185 TFEU (ex Article 169 TEC) Initiatives

The identification criteria for Article 185 TFEU (ex Article 169 TEC), set out in the Seventh Framework Programme, are as follows:

  • relevance to EU objectives,
  • clear definition of the objective to be pursued and its relevance to the objectives of the Framework Programme,
  • presence of a pre-existing basis (existing or envisaged research programmes),
  • European added value,
  • critical mass, with regard to the size and the number of programmes involved and the similarity of activities they cover,
  • efficiency of Article 185 TFEU  as the most appropriate means for achieving the objectives.


Four initiatives identified in the FP7 Specific Programmes

In the Specific Programmes of the Framework Programme, four potential initiatives under Article 185 TFEU (ex Article 169 TEC) are identified on the basis of the criteria set out in the Seventh Framework Programme.
Three of these are under the Cooperation programme of the Seventh Framework Programme:

  • AAL - a joint research programme on 'Ambient Assisted Living'.
  • Bonus - a joint research programme in the field of Baltic Sea research.
  • EMRP - a joint research programme in the field of Metrology (the science of measurement).

One is under the Capacities programme:

  • Eurostars - a joint research programme for research-performing SMEs and their partners.


The Commission approach

In identifying and preparing proposals for Article 185 TFEU (ex Article 169 TEC) initiatives, the Commission has drawn on lessons learnt from the "European and Developing Countries Clinical trials Partnership" (EDCTP) initiative , the Article 185 TFEU  initiative established under the Sixth Framework Programme. These are, notably, the necessity for:

  • a clear and firm commitment from the participating Member States;
  • a well-prepared joint programme / priorities;
  • a well-organised implementation structure.


Article 185 TFEU (ex Article 169 TEC) initiatives in practice

The recipient of the EU funding in each Article 185 TFEU (ex Article 169 TEC) initiative is a Dedicated Implementation Structure (DIS). The DIS is responsible for the administrative, financial and contractual management of the joint research programme.
The rules for participation are those of the national programmes concerned, provided they are compatible with EU legislation, plus any additional requirements which may be imposed by the Delegation Agreement.

Last updated on: 2010-10-06