The European Commission has adopted a communication on the European initiative for agricultural research for development (EIARD). The communication outlines the establishment and organization of EIARD, as well as its role and activities. The EIARD was first presented to the Research Council in 1995, and a first meeting of the European Coordinating Group (ECG) was held in October 1995. The ECG consists of representatives of each of the 18 partners in the EIARD (the 15 EU Member States, the Commission, Norway and Switzerland). The role of the ECG is to coordinate and discuss activities in the field of research and development policy undertaken by the partners in the Initiative. The purpose of the EIARD is to improve the impact of investment by the partners by improved coordination at both policy and operational levels. Agricultural research for development has the goals of improving food security and alleviating poverty while conserving the environment. Examples of activities carried out within the framework of the initiative include the implementation of an information system (EIARD-InfoSys) and carrying out a major exploratory study on policy development. The Commission calls on the Council to recognize the role of the EIARD and its voluntary cooperation methods, as well as agreeing to consider recommendations from the Initiative in the formulation of EU policy in the field. The Council is also called on to endorse the continuation of the Initiative, and the participation of the Commission in the Community's interest.