Closer R&D cooperation with PECO countries
On 8 July 1994 a workshop on R&D cooperation with third countries was held in Bratislava. The meeting discussed the present level of cooperation between the European Union and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (PECO). The EU's PHARE programme is the main tool for the modernization of the societies and economies of Central and Eastern Europe. It supports various science and research activities such as the TEMPUS programme (universities/student mobility) and ACE (research in economics). PHARE funds were also used in Hungary in the ACCORD programme (research and technology). Since 1992 the EU has provided Central and East European scientists with a budget for participation in five research programmes within the Third Framework Programme and, with the commencement of the Fourth Framework Programme, there is considerable scope to examine the extent and nature of cooperation in research and development. Actions 1, 3 and 4 of the Fourth Framework Programme will be open to the participation of PECO and the former Soviet Union. Funding will be provided by the PHARE programme in the framework of the ACCORD scheme, Action 2 of the Fourth Framework Programme (although only in exceptional cases) and a new budget line for PECO countries which are associated to the European Union. One important conclusion of the meeting was that the Commission will initiate bilateral contacts to formulate specific initiatives. PECO countries were asked to clarify the appropriation of funds for the participation in Community activities with the objective of including scientists from PECO countries at the initiation of the programme. The meeting identified the importance of improved access to databases such as CORDIS as well as the need to provide information on potential research partners in EU countries. The meeting also concluded that there should be an increased exchange of information on R&D policy issues both amongst the PECO states and with the EU. There was also a presentation on the results of the PECO and COPERNICUS calls in terms of the actual number of submissions. No details are currently available on projects which were actually selected. These will be announced later.
Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia