Argentine participants or research entities, including firms, are eligible to participate, on a self-financing basis in the first calls for proposals for the thematic programmes of the Fifth RTD Framework Programme (FP5. These four thematic programmes are: - Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources; - User-friendly Information Society; - Competitive and Sustainable Growth; - Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development. Furthermore, on a reciprocal basis, European entities are eligible to participate in all similar RTD activities in Argentina in the corresponding scientific and technological fields. The European Commission and Argentina initialled the text of a Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement on 12 March 1999, moving a step closer to the formalisation of the agreement. This will happen when it is signed at a forthcoming Presidency meeting. The Commission then expects the agreement to enter into force towards the end of 1999. To encourage and facilitate the participation of Argentine partners in FP5, the Argentine Secretariat of Science and Technology (SECyT) has set up a US$3 million-a-year fund to finance Argentine participants in projects presented with the appropriate European counterparts in the calls for proposals. In addition, Argentine entities remain eligible to participate in the FP5 horizontal programme, Confirming the International Role of Community Research, and may receive EU funding for projects under this programme. Separately, on 12 March 1999, the European Commission, Directorate-General XII, announced that Argentine experts and organisations could participate fully on a self-financing basis in the Fifth Euratom Framework Programme.