On an initiative from Mrs. Edith Cresson, Commissioner responsible for science, research and development, and education and training, the Commission proposed on 12 April 1995 to the Council of Ministers that an agreement be signed with the USA establishing a cooperation programme for higher education and vocational training. The aim is to encourage innovatory cooperation projects on both sides of the Atlantic. Each project must involve a minimum of three partners on each side, two being higher education or training institutions in two different Member States and two partner institutions in two American States. The other partners may be other education and training institutions or other relevant organizations (e.g. businesses, NGOs, chambers of commerce, research institutes). The draft Agreement highlights actions which make use of new information technologies. The Agreement, to which the EU would contribute funding of ECU 1.1 million in 1995 (with the USA putting up an equivalent amount), also provides for grants under the Fulbright scheme to study Community issues and relations between the European Union and the USA. This cooperation follows up the Transatlantic Declaration signed with the USA in 1990. The Agreement was initiated by means of an exploratory phase which started in 1993 and has been negotiated on the basis of a brief provided by the Council of Ministers on 21 November 1994.