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Research council endorses Commission's priorities for FP6

European ministers for research endorsed the priorities for the next framework programme, as proposed by the European Commission, at the research council meeting in Luxembourg on 26 June. Ministers also agreed on action in the fields of science and society, women and science ...

European ministers for research endorsed the priorities for the next framework programme, as proposed by the European Commission, at the research council meeting in Luxembourg on 26 June. Ministers also agreed on action in the fields of science and society, women and science and biotechnology, and stated that researcher mobility must also be a priority. 'The EU Ministers for Research have today agreed that the EU should concentrate its research efforts in seven areas: biotechnology, nanotechnology, aeronautics and space, food safety, sustainable development and citizens and governance in a knowledge based Europe. We also agree that the resources to promote greater mobility for researchers in Europe must increase significantly,' said the chairman of the Research Council, Thomas Östros, following the meeting. Research ministers gave the Commission the task of drawing up an action plan on creating closer ties between science and society, to be presented before the end of 2001. The council urged member States to find different ways of stimulating a dialogue between science and society, a dialogue on research findings, their areas of application and any possible ethical issues which may arise from research. The Research council adopted a resolution on the promotion of women's participation in the research community. Ministers agreed to encourage both the Member States and the Commission to intensify efforts to increase the proportion of women who implement and administer research programmes, to develop sex disaggregated statistics and to develop indicators to follow developments in gender equality in European research cooperation more effectively. The Commission presented information about an action plan for EU work in biotechnology issues at the meeting following a request for such a plan by the European Council when meeting in Stockholm in March of this year. The plan is to cover biotechnology research, industrial development and the ethical aspects of biotechnology. A final report will be presented in Barcelona on March 2002. This was the final Research council to be chaired by Thomas Östros, representing the Swedish Presidency. 'Today's discussion demonstrates that there is broad agreement among the Member Stats on the main principles for research in the EU. The Council has pursued the discussion in depth during the Swedish Presidency and has created good preconditions for continued efforts. We have now laid a solid foundation for the final decision in 2002,' said Thomas Östros.

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