The European Commission has adopted formal proposals for the specific programmes implementing the upcoming Fifth RTD Framework Programme. Although the Framework Programme itself has not yet been adopted, the Commission has adopted these proposals in order to start in-depth discussions on the specific programmes as soon as possible, to ensure that the Framework Programme can be implemented from the beginning of 1999. In its proposals, the Commission has maintained its first budget proposal of ECU 16,300 million overall, which it believes necessary to achieve all the Programme's aims, particularly in the light of the additional research fields added by Parliament and Council at first reading. The proposals take into account the desire to continue developing and improving the management of the EU's research programmes, and in particular propose the creation of advisory groups composed of representatives of scientific circles, industry and users, with the aim of associating them more closely with the management of the programmes. The Commission also proposes that the programme committees should in future handle strategic matters only, while the Commission should be responsible for day-to-day management - allowing procedures to be speeded up. The Commission's proposals set out detailed objectives for each of the following programmes: - Thematic programmes: . Quality of life and living resources; . User-friendly Information Society; . Competitive and sustainable growth; . Preserving the ecosystem. - Horizontal programmes: . Confirming the international role of Community research; . Innovation and participation of SMEs; . Improving the human research potential and the socio-economic knowledge base. - Nuclear research activities (Euratom); - Research to be conducted by the Joint Research Centre. The priority themes set out in the proposals will be addressed on the basis of around 20 Key Actions. In the case of the Joint Research Centre, the Commission has proposed a reduced budget in the nuclear field and a modest increase in the non-nuclear field. This will help to focus efforts in support of Community policies on issues of particular concern to citizens including those relating to sustainable development.