Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Successor programme

FP4-INCO - FP4-INCO-COPERNICUS
To promote a pan-European research community.

Abstract

From the beginning the European Community has supported reforms in Central and Eastern Europe mainly through its PHARE programme and including the programmes for higher education training development (TEMPUS) and economics (ACE). With regard to the reform of the research systems in Central and Eastern Europe, the European Community has provided and is providing assistance and advice on a limited scale. Part of this is being realised through cooperation activities in the field of science and technology. These activities are undertaken in the framework of the association agreements and the agreements for trade and commercial and economic cooperation which the Community has signed with a number of countries in Central and Eastern Europe and which contain clauses on cooperation in the field of science and technology.

The European Parliament, meeting on 8 October 1991 made a resolution on scientific and technological cooperation between the European Community and European non-member countries (Official Journal No C 280 of 28.10.1991), which proposed to coordinate scientific and technology projects between the Community and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe within the COPERNICUS (Community of Pan European Research Networks of Interdisciplinary Centres and Universities in Sciences) plan of action, as suggested originally by the President-in-Office of the Council of Ministers at the Forum organized by Parliament and the Commission on scientific and technological cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe that took place in Strasbourg in November 1990.

Cooperation in the field of science and technology was one of the main themes at the Ministerial meeting of the OECD Committee on Scientific and Technological Policy, held in Paris on 10-11 March 1992, where the Ministers reinforced their committment to further concrete activities on specific areas such as the training of researchers and scientists, the strengthening of the East European scientific and technological systems, the transfer of technology and the conversion of the military industrial complex.

Subdivision

Five actions:

- Scientific and technical mobility involving nationals of the European Community and those of the Central and Eastern European countries (research fellowships) in areas including all exact and natural sciences, economic and management sciences as well as human and social sciences;

- Preparatory actions with a view to explore the setting up of pan-European scientific networks and the organization of and participation in conferences, workshops and seminars in the same areas;

- Joint research projects in priority areas, between organizations and enterprises, both public and private, of the European Community and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in areas including the quality of life (environmental protection, health protection, social sciences and societal problems) and the industrial technologies (information and communication technologies, materials and production, agro-industry and food);

- Support for the participation of organizations and enterprises of Central and Eastern European countries in projects of those specific Community programmes for research and technological development which allow participation on a project by project basis;

- Support for the participation of organizations and enterprises established in Central and Eastern European countries in COST actions.

Implementation

The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme. A task force has been set up under the responsibility of the Commision's Directorates-General XII and XIII in order to coordinate the scientific and technological cooperation programmes with Central and Eastern Europe and to formulate a coherent policy in this area.

For the Independent States of the former Soviet Union, use will be made of the International Foundation for the Promotion of Cooperation with Scientists from the CIS.

The International Political Commission (IPC), established in 1991 by the education and research Ministers of Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia, has a project on "the transformation of the education and research systems in Central and Eastern Europe" and has identified a number of studies to be undertaken in support of this. Part of these studies are promoted and financially supported by the Community.

In 1992, the European Community budget allocated ECU 55 million to preparatory and pilot actions. ECU 40 million of this is to support a number of exploratory cooperation projects in the field of science and technology between the Community and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, ECU 10 million to support, on a case by case basis, the participation of organizations from Central and Eastern Europe in those specific research and development programmes allowing such participation on a project by project basis, and ECU 5 million to further their participation in COST.

Participation is open to any physical and legal person established in the Member States of the European Community and in those countries of Central and Eastern Europe which have an agreement with the European Community covering cooperation in science and technology development. These countries are, at present, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
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