Although Europe has a long way to go in terms of technological development, the Fifth RTD Framework Programme is a positive sign which should be encouraged. This was the outcome of a speech made by Romano Prodi, nominee of the European Union States for Commission President. In his second speech, addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg on 4 May, Mr Prodi, pointed out that in order to make any real impact on the unemployment problem and the future of forthcoming generations, macroeconomic policies must be backed up by an equally far-sighted range of microeconomic measures. According to Mr Prodi these measures must include an extra special effort in the areas of: - Training of all types of human resources; - Stepping up investment in research and development; - Development of the Information Society. "Although the performance of most of the scientific and technological production indicators is similar to the United States, the production structure in the more innovative and high-technology areas is considerably weaker in Europe than it is in the United States," said Mr Prodi. But even though Mr Prodi expressed that Europe has a long way to go, he believes it has already made a start. "In the area of European policies supporting technological progress, there are also some positive signs which should be encouraged. I am referring above all to the Fifth Framework Programme, aimed at consolidating links between research and small and medium sized enterprises," he said. Mr Prodi also emphasised that we must give substance to the sustainable development option, always doing more to ensure that the quality of the environment is one of the hallmarks of the European social and economic model and a positive factor for innovation.