On 28 January 1994, Professor Ruberti of the European Commission, inaugurating the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor work site at Garching, Germany, addressed representatives of the four ITER Parties: Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America and the European Atomic Energy Community. Representatives of Sweden and Switzerland, associated with the project, and of the International Atomic Energy Agency, were also present. The event also marked the first meeting of the ITER Council in the European Union. Prof. Ruberti said that the ITER project proves that international cooperation in science and technology can be productive and that ITER has become a paradigm for major projects in this field. He pointed out that ITER is founded on the principle of equality, and, as far as the European Union is concerned, such a partnership has been made possible by the coordination of all the magnetic fusion projects of the Member States, as well as those of Sweden and Switzerland, through the EU's Fusion Programme. Commissioner Ruberti stressed that Thermonuclear fusion is one of the very few known options which could provide a clean and reliable source of energy in the years to come. He is convinced of the need to maintain the full capacity of the ITER partnership in view of the potential benefits to all concerned. The European Commission is fully committed to the ITER project and will do its best to ensure that sufficient resources are made available for this important project. The first stage of the six-year ITER Engineering Design Activities is nearing completion. The most substantive stage of the Activities, which will be covered by a single Second ITER Protocol, should follow immediately as this is the wish of the four Parties. Professor Ruberti understood that the negotiators had the support both of the ITER Council and their respective domestic authorities. This should permit their work to lead within a few weeks to the signature of Protocol 2, and ensure the basis for implementing the whole of the ITER Engineering Design Activities. By July 1998, he noted, the technical basis for making decisions on the construction of ITER should be established. The design and technical data produced should then be available for each of the Parties to use either as part of an international collaborative programme or in its own domestic programme.