On the initiative of Commissioner Ruberti, the Commission has recently decided to set up a European Science and Technology Assembly. The aim of this Assembly, which is based on the American National Research Council and the Japan Research Council, is to assist the Commission in drafting and implementing Community research and technological development policy. In its White Paper on Growth, Competitiveness and Employment the Commission has already made reference to the establishment of such an Assembly. By providing close, direct and permanent contact between the Commission and the European scientific community and industrial world, the Assembly will be able to guarantee that Community research and technological development have the desired impact on Europe's economy and society. According to Professor Ruberti the European Union could not hope to be successful in science and technology without involving itself in the rich and varied world of European research. This new group will provide a platform for this involvement. The Assembly will consist of about one hundred prominent people drawn from lists put forward by the various organizations active in science and technology in Europe. The Assembly will hold its first plenary session in June when it will elect a Chairman. Research and technological development are taking up more and more of the Community's finances. Activities carried out in this field have a considerable impact on the economy and life in general. The Assembly will be able to provide the Commission with guidence on: - The relevance of its scientific and technological options; - The quality of the research undertaken; - Consideration of the most recent developments in knowledge and technology as well as of the needs of the economy and society. The Commission will frequently request the opinion of the Assembly on a number of points: the scientific and technological content of Community research programmes and the criteria and methods used to assess proposals. Acting on its own initiative, the Assembly can also prepare reports and deliver opinions on various aspects of Community research policy as well as science and technology developments in Europe and the rest of the world.