EEC/Sweden agreement on FOREST and REWARD: ESC Opinion
An Opinion of the Economic and Social Committee (Session of 25 March 1992) concerns the Commission proposal for a Council Decision on the conclusion of a Cooperation Agreement between the EEC and the Kingdom of Sweden on a research and technological development programme in the fields of renewable raw materials: forestry and wood products (including cork), FOREST, and the recycling of waste, REWARD (COM(91) 402 of 15.11.1991). The Committee, making a number of observations, endorses the proposal which will involve Sweden in the FOREST and REWARD subprogrammes of the specific RTD programme in raw materials and recycling (1990-1992). Under the Agreement, Sweden will contribute a total of ECU 454,534 to the funding of FOREST plus ECU 227,267 to REWARD. Persons and research bodies from Sweden will be entitled to submit proposals and to conclude corresponding research contacts with the Commission. Inter alia, the Committee notes that when approving the specific programme in raw materials (Opinion of 26 April 1989, OJ No C 159 of 26.6.1989) it criticised the proposed allocation of appropriations within the programme as not reflecting the relative importance of the subprogrammes and recommended that the proposed appropriation for "primary raw materials" should in part be transferred to the other three subprogrammes. The present Opinion provides an opportunity for the Committee to strongly deplore that its earlier recommendation was not acted on by the Council. The Committee also calls on the Commission to ensure synergy between REWARD and the waste recycling aspects of "technologies for environment protection" within the STEP programme, particularly in the light of the EEC/Sweden Cooperation Agreement on STEP.