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Council works towards agreement on Fourth Framework Programme

The Secretariat-General of the Council has announced that in-depth discussion of the Commission proposals regarding the Fourth Framework Programme took place at the meeting of the Council of the European Communities and the Ministers for Research of the Member States, meeting ...

The Secretariat-General of the Council has announced that in-depth discussion of the Commission proposals regarding the Fourth Framework Programme took place at the meeting of the Council of the European Communities and the Ministers for Research of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on 11 October 1993. Two Commission proposals relate to the Framework Programme: each is founded on a different European Treaty. After ratification of the Treaty of Union (Maastricht Treaty), that part of the Framework Programme concerning the European Economic Community will be adopted on the basis of this Treaty. The second proposal on the Framework Programme concerns the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), and will have its legal basis in the Euratom Treaty. The majority of the day was devoted to bilateral discussions and meetings between the Presidency, the delegations and the Commission on the subject of the global appropriation for the Framework Programme. The debate has permitted general positions to be established, and for Delegates to come closer to agreement in a number of areas. On this basis, the Council agrees that, on the occasion of the next informal "trilogue" (which should be arranged as soon as possible), the President should inform the representatives of the European Parliament of the following: - That there is no final Council position on the Commission's proposal concerning the Fourth Framework Programme and that the proposed global financing of ECU 13,100 million is seen by a large majority of the Council as a reasonable figure, while some Delegates prefer a lower figure or are still undecided on account of the uncertain economic and budgetary conditions; - That the Council has noted with interest the Parliament's viewpoint on accompanying and supporting activities for the Framework Programme, and considers that it is helpful in the efforts to reach agreement on a global figure for the Framework Programme; - That the Council wishes the Parliament to be aware of the efforts being made to reach convergence on this matter, for instance by examining the possibility of weighting expenditure towards the end of the programme period, subject to review by the Council on the basis of an analysis of the economic and budgetary situation; - That the Council looks forward to receiving Parliament's Opinion on the Commission's proposals for the Fourth Framework Programme in due course, in order to enable the Council to take the necessary decisions in conformity with the procedures laid down in the Treaty, before the end of the year. Two other Framework Programme topics were debated at the Council meeting. A common consensus was reached on the number of specific programmes required to carry out the objectives of the Programme. The Council is of the opinion that eighteen programmes will be required (a higher number than proposed by the Commission), while debate continues on the specific programmes to be undertaken by the Joint Research Centre (one nuclear plus one non-nuclear). The Council agreed on the identification of a number of objectives targeted to reinforce synergies between Community RTD and EUREKA projects, in particular Community participation in EUREKA. These include regular information exchange between those responsible for projects plus closer interaction between Community policies and EUREKA projects. At the same time, the Council noted that the specific aims of these two different types of programmes must be preserved.

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