On the initiative of Mr. Martin Bangemann, Commissioner responsible for industry, the European Commission has published a communication entitled "An industrial competitiveness policy for the European chemical industry". In order that the European chemical industry may maintain its place worldwide as one of the most modern and competitive in the world, the Commission has established the following four areas for priority action: - Improving the regulatory framework, both inside the EU and internationally. A particular problem in this context is protectionism based on the arguments of health and environmental protection; - Ensuring effective competition, both inside and outside the EU, through merger controls and the World Trade Organization; - Developing industrial cooperation, both within the EU and internationally. The Commission will provide assistance to Central and Eastern European countries to promote the establishment of a regulatory framework similar to that of the EU, and promote cooperation with fast-growing markets like China, and countries rich in raw materials; - Encouraging intangible investment by: . Developing the power of innovation of European companies; . Investing in research and development, intellectual property, training, data processing and other intangibles. In particular, the Commission and Member States will continue to support collaborative research and development through the Fourth and Fifth RTD Framework Programmes and research/industry task forces. The Commission will intensify the education and training of scientists in Europe through the SOCRATES and LEONARDO DA VINCI Community action programmes in education, certain subprogrammes of the Fourth RTD Framework Programme and certain actions and initiatives under the Structural Funds.