A series of draft conclusions projecting an increased role for Community space research was adopted by the EC Research Council of Ministers at the close of its 29 April 1993 meeting. The Council has given its approval to the Commission to initiate an ad hoc space research group, consisting of representatives from the Member States, to advise the Commission on the definition of a Community space research policy. The Council concluded that the Commission should increase its role as user of space technology - in earth observation, for example - to contribute to optimizing the use of satellite information. Although aware that the Commission is not intending to propose a specific programme for Community space research, the Council has agreed that during discussions on the finalization of the fourth framework programme, it will be necessary to examine Community support for RTD activities in this area, including, if necessary the development of specific instruments. The Commission was invited to continue its efforts to create favourable conditions for enlarging the application market for spatial applications and for increasing the European space industry's competitiveness in general. Finally, the Council agreed that the synergy and complementarity of Community and ESA research and development in this area should be increased.