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RTD Cooperation with third countries and international organisations (1994-1998)

International cooperation appeared as an essential dimension of EU activity in the field of technological research and development (RTD) aiming to respond to a twofold challenge with a clear and coherent international cooperation programme:

  1. To coordinate the already existing activities related to scientific and technical cooperation with third countries which were organized either in the context of the previous Framework Programmes or outside it. During the period that these Framework Programmes were running, scientific cooperation was developed as part of the Framework Programmes only with the developing countries, while scientific cooperation with the Mediterranean countries, the Asian countries and the Latin American countries was also taking place outside the Framework Programmes.

  2. To deal with the political changes that took place in the Central and Eastern European countries after the fall of the Berlin Wall, which were a second challenge.

It is in this context that the 4th Framework Programme (1994 - 1998) responded to the above mentioned needs and made changes, by establishing a specific RTD programme "Cooperation with third countries and international organizations" (INCO). Cooperation with third countries and international organizations (International Cooperation INCO) (ECU 575 million) is thus one of the four activities around which are built the scientific and technological objectives of the FP4.

Based on the basic principles of "mutual benefit" and of "subsidiarity", the INCO programme is structured in order to reflect the specific nature of the objectives of cooperation according to the partners, which are divided into 4 target groups constituting 4 areas:

Area A1:
Cooperation with other European Cooperation Frameworks:

COST (European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research), EUREKA (A Tool for Industrial Rennovation) and certain international RTD organizations

Area A2:
Cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries (CEC) and with the Newly Independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet Union:

INCO - Copernicus (financing and management of joint research activities and joint initiatives) « Project by project » participation in certain Action 1,3 and 4 RTD programmes and possibility of financial assistance and EU participation in INTAS and ICST

Area B:
Cooperation with Non-European industrialized countries:

SetT cooperation agreements with third countries (Canada , Israel, Southern Africa, USA), «project by project » participation in certain RTD strands of specific EU programs and Japan / Korea research grants

Area C:
Cooperation with developing countries (DC):

INCO - DC (financing and management of joint research activities and joint initiatives) « project by project » participation in certain Area 1 RTD Programmes, possibility of financial assistance

The INCO Programme (1994-1998) of the FP4 is now completed.
A new programme - Confirming the international role of Community research - is being implemented under the Fifth RTD Framework Programme (1998-2002).

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