The European Commission has published an evaluation report on the STEP (Science and technology for Environmental Protection) and EPOCH (European Programme on Climatology and Natural Hazards) programmes adopted under the Community's Second Framework Programme for research and technological development. The report, entitled "Evaluation of STEP and EPOCH programmes (1989-1993)", presents the results of an evaluation conducted by a panel of seven independent experts. The evaluation is based on documentation, a postal survey and interviews with contractors, national representatives in the programme management committee, EC programme managers and project officers. The panel concluded that the STEP and EPOCH programmes were of enormous benefit to the scientific communities in their respective fields of action. It stressed the need to support long-term research into natural phenomena and suggested that the Commission services be more proactive in project management and monitoring progress in this area.