The European Commission has approved a proposal of the French Government to prolong an aid scheme in favour of forestry and paper making research for another five years until the end of 1999. The present system of aid, approved by the Commission on 31 January 1990 (aid No 298/89), will expire by the end of 1994.The aid scheme is financed by means of para-fiscal taxes on pulp, paper and cardboard produced in France. Of the ECU 9 million annual yield, 46% of the tax goes to the Association Forets Celluloses (AFOCEL), a federation of pulp producers. The funds are used to finance research in sylviculture and forestry exploitation. A total of 52% goes to the Centre Technique du Papier, where it is used for research in paper making. Finally, 2% is used to stimulate the recovery of waste paper.In view of the collective nature of the aided activities, which are relatively far from the market, the Commission decided that the aid would not adversely affect trading conditions to an extent contrary to the common interest. Hence, the Commission applied the derogation provided for in Article 92(3)(c) EC in favour of aid facilitating the development of certain activities.