On 30 October 1995, the Council of the European Union approved a Framework Agreement for cooperation between the European Community and Brazil. The Agreement is aimed at strengthening cooperation between the EC and Brazil, particularly in matters relating to trade, investment, finance and technology. Among the specific areas covered by the Agreement (non-exhaustive list) are: - Industrial cooperation: The Agreement aims to help expand and diversify Brazil's production base in the industrial and service sectors. Particular emphasis is placed on cooperation activities targeted at SMEs and measures to facilitate their access to capital, markets and appropriate technology. In this context, projects and operations which promote cooperation between firms, such as joint ventures, sub-contracting, technology transfer arrangements, licences, applied research and franchises will be encouraged. Existing networks for promoting industry and development (the European Community Investment Partners network and the Business Cooperation Network) will also be consolidated; - Scientific and technological cooperation: Efforts will be aimed at strengthening links between scientific and technological communities in Brazil and the European Community, encouraging exchanges of researchers, promoting mutually beneficial transfer of technology, fostering relations between research centres, stimulating innovation and defining the framework for cooperation in the field of applied science. Activities will include training of high-calibre scientific staff, joint research projects and the interchange of scientific information through seminars, workshops, congresses and working meetings; - Standards: Steps shall be taken to reduce differences in respect of weights and measures, standardization and certification by promoting the use of compatible systems of standards and certification; - Technological development and intellectual property: The contracting parties undertake to ensure, so far as their laws, regulations and policies allow, that suitable and effective protection is provided for intellectual property rights, including patents, trade or service marks, copyright and related rights, geographical designations, industrial designs and integrated circuit topographies. They also undertake, wherever possible, to facilitate access to the databanks and databases in this area; - Energy: Cooperation relating to the saving and efficient use of energy will be stepped up and will include planning concerning energy and the consideration of environmental implications; - Transport: Measures will be taken to further cooperation in the field of transport, particularly through the exchange of information, training programmes and technical assistance for the modernization of infrastructure; - Information technology and telecommunications and the use of space technology: In recognition of the fact that information technologies and telecommunications are vital to the development of the economy and society, cooperation will be promoted in areas of common interest, in particular with regard to: . Standardization, testing and certification; . Earth and space-based telecommunications; . Electronics and microelectronics; . Information and automation; . High-definition television; . Research and development in new information technologies and telecommunications; . Promotion of investment and joint investment; - Environment: The contracting parties will endeavour to reconcile the need for economic and social development with the need for due protection of nature, and will devote particular attention in their cooperation to the most disadvantaged sections of the population, the urban environment and to the protection of ecosystems such as tropical forests; - Public health: Cooperation will be strengthened in the area of public health, particularly through support to vocational training, the establishment of programmes and projects for the improvement of health conditions and well-being in urban and rural areas and support in combating infectious and contagious diseases (including AIDS); - Training: Vocational training programmes will be implemented in areas of mutual interest, taking account of new technologies in this field. The Agreement will be monitored by the Joint Committee set up under the previous EC/Brazil Agreement in 1982. The existing sub-committees on science and technology and on industrial cooperation will continue under the present Agreement.