The European Commission has accepted an offer by ALLEA, the All European academies of sciences and humanities, to act as a mediator in identifying potential evaluators for the Sixth Framework programme (FP6). The offer was made by ALLEA's president, Pieter Drenth, at a recent meeting with Research DG Director-General Achilleas Mitsos, called to discuss the new instruments for FP6. The peer review system will not see many changes under FP6, although the job will be made more attractive through the payment of an honorarium for researchers acting as reviewers. On the issue of the new instruments, particularly integrated projects and networks of excellence, Professor Drenth told Dr Mitsos of his appreciation for the Commission's intention of simplifying procedures, and said that he hoped the Commissions would adhere to these intentions during the implementation phase. He also emphasised the importance of European added value, but underlined the fact that Europe must not be seen as restricted to the EU and affiliated countries. Professor Drenth praised the Commission's emphasis on larger research consortia, but stressed that this should not disadvantage smaller but excellent groups of researchers. Finally, the ALLEA president stressed the need for a balance between basic and applied research.